U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam, who represents Illinois’ 6th Congressional District west of Chicago, is spearheading efforts to make it easier for employers to get tax credits for hiring veterans of the war in Iraq.
Union officials with the Illinois Teamsters “Helmets to Hardhats” program say unemployment is unacceptably high among veterans. It doesn’t help that tax credits for hiring veterans impose stringent requirements.
A veteran currently must be on food stamps or enrolled in a federal program for needy families for at least six months before a business may claim a hiring credit. One union official pointed out that these qualifications are stricter than those required for hiring ex-felons.
Roskam has introduced federal legislation to make tax credits more readily available to companies that hire veterans.
“Nationwide, unemployment among veterans is at 10.4%, more than double Chicago’s overall jobless rate of 4.7%,” Roskam said. “We must reverse this trend by helping all returning veterans find jobs.”
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