CHARLESTON, WV (WVNS) — Recently, Senator Kaine spoke about the Military Spouse Hiring Act, which is a legislation to amend the tax code to encourage businesses to hire military spouses.

Military spouse unemployment rates are significantly higher than the national average, and nearly two thirds of employed military spouses feel that they are underemployed and not working to their full potential. Even with 45% of military spouses that have a bachelors or advanced degrees, job offers are often difficult for them to find and career progression can be stalled or not come by at all.

Military spouse unemployment also contributes to financial stress. Some military families are still feeling the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, which increases unemployment for military spouses becoming more common than ever.

“This is a readiness issue that deals directly with retention, but also honors the sacrifice and recognizes the expertise of military spouses,” said Senator Kaine. “They share with military members some really important work attributes. You know, flexibility, mission focused, resiliency, you know, drop me into a new location and I’ll figure out the school system, and I’ll figure out healthcare, and I’ll figure out how to make new friends. So resiliency, teamwork, mission focused. When I talk to employers they often say, ‘look I can train on the skill, but what I can’t train on is the kind of success added to and work ethic.’ And military spouses have this in the same way that military members do. So they can really be a tremendous value add to any organization,” Kaine concluded.

The Military Spouse Hiring Act would work to address these issues by expanding the Work
Opportunity Tax Credit to include military spouses.