Unemployed-veteran hiring program underway

As of Oct. 1, Washington employers can receive a tax credit for hiring unemployed veterans.

As of Oct. 1, Washington employers can receive a tax credit for hiring unemployed veterans.

The state Legislature implemented this program with the goal of reducing veteran unemployment by 30 percent.

“Veterans offer unique skills and leadership abilities that translate directly into a variety of jobs in our state,” said Sen. Joe Fain (R-Auburn), who serves as Senate Majority Floor Leader. “With veterans doing so much for our country it is also our responsibility to help them build a bridge back to civilian life.”

Washington is home to more than 340,000 working-age veterans who face a 6.3 percent unemployment rate, higher than the United States average of 5.4 percent.

“As a veteran, I know how difficult it is to re-enter civilian life and the stress associated with making that difficult change,” said Sen. Steve Hobbs, D-Lake Stevens, a veteran currently serving in the National Guard. “This new rule will make that transition easier by encouraging employers to hire the men and women of our armed forces and create more opportunities for the people that have sacrificed so much for us.”

The legislation provides a credit of 20 percent of the hired veteran’s total wages and benefits on an employer’s business-and-occupation or public-utilities tax.

To qualify the veteran must have been honorably discharged, unemployed for more than 30 days and hired into a full-time position held for at least six months. The program runs through June 30, 2022, when lawmakers can review the outcomes and determine whether or not to extend the incentive.

Employers or veterans with questions about the program can visit veterans.senatorfain.com for more information.

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