Military Spouse Employment Report

The overarching objective of this project was to evaluate the cumulative economic impact on Armed Forces spouses who may be unable to sustain employment due to Permanent Change of Station (PCS) moves, licensure constraints, and lack of career enhancing opportunities.

Project undertaken in partnership with Military Officers Association of America (MOAA)

 

Key Highlights

  1. 90% of responding female spouses of active duty service members reported being underemployed, meaning they possess more formal education/experience than needed at their current or most recent position.
  2. The 2012 American Community Survey (ACS) data show military spouses make an average of 38% less total personal income and are 30% more likely to be unemployed than civilian counterparts.
  3. In 2012, 18-24 year-old Armed Forces female spouses had the highest unemployment rates at 30% (which is almost three times higher than their civilian counterparts at 11%). 25-44 year-old Armed Forces female spouses had the second highest unemployment rates at 15% (almost three times higher than their civilian counterparts at 6%).
  4. Over 50% of respondents indicated their chosen career field requires licensing or certification and 73% requires renewal/reissuing after a PCS move, costing an average of $223.03.
  5. Respondents reported being underemployed with respect to education (33%), experience (10%), or both (47%).