Monitoring Employment Conditions of Military Spouses
RAND NATIONAL DEFENSE RESEARCH INST SANTA MONICA CA
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Decisions to enlist and especially to remain in the military are often not made alone. Most of the 1.4 million active-duty members are married, and they must consider the interests of their spouses when deciding whether or not to remain in the military. Spouses, in turn, will be influenced by their own civilian opportunities as circumscribed by the members military life. Most spouses of active-duty personnel are active in the labor market i.e., employed or seeking work. This status means civilian employment opportunities will affect how members view military life and how willing they are to continue committing their families to military life. The issues of military spouses in the labor market are therefore critical ones for retention of military members. Military spouses, however, confront substantial obstacles to finding work and developing their own careers. Their unemployment rates are higher than those for civilian counterparts, and most military spouses perceive that being a military spouse adversely affects their work opportunities. As part of the continuing research on the quality of life of military families, the RAND Corporation was asked to explore how to optimally use current data sources to monitor employment conditions of military spouses, and to determine if additional data sources are necessary. This document presents RANDs research on developing employment statistics for military spouses. Developing these statistics would require determining the following 1 valid measures of labor market conditions for military spouses, and 2 a sample of sufficient size to allow generalization to the population of military spouses.
- Sociology and Law
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations
- Statistics and Probability
- Military Forces and Organizations