You would think that employers in the U.S. would be eager to support military families and more than willing to hire military spouses while their other halves are off serving their country.
But apparently, you’d be wrong. A FlexJobs and Blue Star Families survey of military spouses found that a whopping 46 percent of military spouses have felt discriminated against in job searches for that very reason—they’re military spouses.
And that appears to be borne out by the unemployment rate among said spouses, which at 16 percent is four times higher than the civilian unemployment rate. But it goes further than that, according to the survey results.
In fact, 91 percent of military spouses say that being a military spouse has had a negative impact on their career—which is supported by the fact that 32 percent of military spouses have had to leave a job at least three times because of a military-related move. That makes it tough to build continuity in a career, not to mention longevity.
In addition, because it’s so tough to get and keep a job as a military spouse, 56 percent say that at some point they gave up on trying to find work—and 50 percent say they’ve tried to hide their military spouse status to avoid the discrimination that could result.
That said, they do want to work, with 81 percent of military spouses saying their main reason is personal fulfillment—even more than the need to pay for basic necessities or save for retirement. And it’s not as if they don’t have the qualifications, either, with 71 percent having at least a bachelor’s degree or higher. That’s way more than is found in the general population, in which only about 34 percent have degrees.
The optimum objective could be a job with a flexible schedule, which 77 percent of military souses say they prefer. After that comes fully remote work (71 percent), alternative schedule (41 percent), part-time work (40 percent), partially remote work (40 percent) and freelance (22 percent).