Between 35% and 50% of military spouses work in fields that require occupational licenses or certifications, which are not always recognized when couples move to a new state or country. With the constant moves military life requires, the difficulty drastically increases. Lawyers and teachers are some of the hardest hit, but thanks to the work of advocacy groups across the country, they are seeing some relief from federal and state governments.
Military spouses are unemployed at four times the rate of civilians, and those seeking employment are unemployed for about four months every time they move. The average military member will move every two to three years, and that lost time and salary can add up significantly over the typical 20-year military career. Even when spouses find jobs, they earn $12,000 less than their civilian colleagues, losing nearly $190,000 over their careers.
Spouses and advocate groups say financial considerations play a major role in whether a service member will continue to serve the country.