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Bill Introduced To Help Military Spouse Unemployment

(Credit: KDKA)

(Credit: KDKA)

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Military spouses have higher unemployment rates than many others because their families are often required to move around a lot.

That can be very disruptive for working spouses, but Sen. Bob Casey along with some local military spouses offered some help on Tuesday.

The scenes of service men and women in the military reunited with their loved ones after stints overseas are common, but a less visible challenge has been the impact on military families when transferred from base to base, year after year.

“One-third of all members of the military move each year. Just imagine that, one third moving each year,” Sen. Casey said.

A report issued by the Joint Economic Committee chaired by Sen. Casey found that, as a consequence of moving so much, military spouses have a higher unemployment rate at 15 percent.

The problem is compounded for many professionals like teachers, nurses and accountants.

Emily Embers from San Diego recently moved to the Pittsburgh area with her Marine husband.

“I fell in love with my Marine at Camp Pendleton in San Diego. We got married, and he got his orders to Johnstown, Pa. At that time, I had just graduated with my Masters in social work. And coming here, they don’t recognize the same tests, so I had to retake the tests here. And I had to pay $300 to take essentially the same test,” Embers said.

“In moving from state to state in our unique circumstances as a military family, each state has its individual requirements for licensure,” Heather Uphold, also a military spouse, said.

Sen. Casey has introduced a federal bill to give military spouses a one-time $500 tax credit to cover these costs. It is pending state legislation to accept out-of-state licenses.

“One of the most important things to our soldiers is that their families have some degree of stability. This would help,” Sen. Casey said.

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