New Veterans employment law offers tax credits to employers. Recently, Congress passed the VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011, a bill intended to help unemployed veterans find employment.   This bipartisan bill, which was quickly signed into law by President Obama, establishes a series of tax credits for businesses that hire Veterans in need of employment and expands on-the-job training/apprenticeship programs for Veterans.  Businesses will be given a Returning Heroes Tax Credit of up to $5,600 for each Post-9/11 Veteran they hire who has been looking for a job for more than six months.  A tax credit of $2,400 will be awarded for hiring Veterans who have been unemployed for more than four weeks, and a Wounded Warrior Tax Credit provides up to $9,600 for companies that hire Post-9/11 Veterans with service-connected disabilities who have been looking for a job for more than six months.

As reported by the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics, the October 2011 overall jobless rate for veterans, at 7.7 percent, was lower than the national rate of nine percent, but for those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, the rate was 12.1 percent.   About two-thirds of these veterans are under age 35.  The bill aims to improve this situation, especially through its provisions addressing education and training, job counseling, transition and placement assistance, and additional help for disabled veterans.  The bill also amends the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) to clarify what constitutes a benefit and a hostile work environment.