ALLEN (CBSDFW.COM) – New unemployment numbers out today were such good news they sent stocks soaring to their highest point in years.
U.S. unemployment dropped this month to 8.3-percent, the lowest in three years.
The good news was beyond just month-to-month…the country added 1-point-8 million jobs last year, nearly double the number of 2010. There were 243,000 news jobs in January, a happy if cautious trend, says Professor Mike Davis of SMU’s Cox School of Business. “We should really be happy at the numbers we’re seeing, but we should also remember there is a lot that has to happen for us to really fully recover.”
He says there are trends developing but no guarantee they will continue. “We’re actually now seeing a trend in job creation. That’s the good news and let’s just celebrate it. But remember we’re digging ourselves out of a very, very big hole. We need to see numbers like this for many months to come before we’re back to where we were before the whole recession started.”
Using a Virginia fire station as a backdrop, President Obama urged new programs to put veterans to work, especially as police officers and firefighters. “Do not slow down the recovery we’re on. Don’t muck it up,” he said.
Gary Duncanson says private business can help, too. “If you hire a veteran you are already hiring someone who is used to following chain-of-command and is very competent in what they do, and you can give them a task individually and have less management on them.”
Duncanson is President and CEO of No Magic, Incorporated, a software company that builds models and simulations to monitor and de-bug both software and hardware in the government and defense industries. The company has an international profile, employing 300 people on three continents.
Two weeks ago it received the U.S. Patriot Award for policies that support hiring veterans. “Our veterans absolutely do not know failure,” says Duncanson, “they’re going to succeed. They will find a way.”
Clarence ‘Moe’ Moreland knows the challenge of coming home. A 15-year Navy veteran himself, he has four sons trying to re-integrate into civilian life. New found freedom and no chain of command are huge challenges. “And when you come back here and see people kind of chaotically interacting with one another, that’s a big psychological challenge.” But they also bring home a no-nonsense attitude that can benefit both employee and employer. “You find a problem, you solve it, you’re not looking for accolades, you’re not taking any grandiose positions a posturing. You’re trying to get a job done the old-fashioned way because they believe that’s what built America, that’s what’s going to make America great, and that’s what’s going to keep America great.”
Another employee, Army veteran Don Proeschel, knows the challenges, too. “I think it’s very important to try to integrate the returning veterans into the work force. To transition from being a warrior to being a civilian and not having to duck every time you hear a loud noise.”
He has job advice for vets. “Know yourself; understand your strengths and your weaknesses get lots of counsel and advice and career guidance.” But above all, he advises, don’t quit. “Returning veterans are outstanding assets for companies looking for outstanding people.”