FlexJobs and Blue Star Families Survey Finds Nearly Half of Military Spouses Felt Discriminated Against in Job Searches

May 20, 2019

Flexible and remote work options can reduce barriers to sustainable military spouse employment

BOULDER, CO – The unemployment rate among military spouses is 16%, more than four times higher than the civilian unemployment rate. According to a FlexJobs and Blue Star Families survey of more than 500 military spouses, nearly half (46%) of military spouses have felt discriminated against in their job search because they are military spouses. Not surprisingly then, 50 percent have also tried to hide the fact that they are military spouses from prospective employers during their job search.

“Military spouses face many unique challenges in maintaining and growing their professional careers, but flexible work arrangements can significantly improve their access to job opportunities,” said Sara Sutton, Founder and CEO of FlexJobs. “Military spouses need support and viable job options. Remote work in particular can help bridge the gap for this group of valuable, talented, qualified professionals whose lives, because of their commitment to our country, do not necessarily fit within the traditional workplace model,” Sutton concluded.

These findings are reported during May, which is National Military Appreciation Month.  Other highlights include:

  • 91% of military spouses say being a military spouse has had a negative impact on their career

    • Because of the difficulties associated with finding sustainable employment as a military spouse, 56% say at some point they have stopped trying to find a job

  • 65% of military spouses have felt like they had no choice but to leave a job because it did not have work flexibility

  • Flexible schedule jobs (77%) are the most preferred type of flexible work arrangement for military spouses, followed by 100% remote (71%), alternative schedule (41%) part-time (40%), partial remote work (40%), and freelance (22%)

  • Military spouses want to work. 81% report that the primary reason they work is because of personal fulfillment, ahead of paying for basic necessities or saving for retirement

  • Military spouses are qualified. 71% of respondents have at least a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to only about 34% of the general U.S. population.

  • 32% of military spouses have had to leave a job at least three times because of a military-related move

“Spouseforce, our career program, helps place military spouses into long term jobs as well as asks them what they need to be successful,” said Kathy Roth-Douquet, CEO of Blue Star Families.” Most often, that answer is flexibility. Our military families tell us that having dual incomes is vital to their wellbeing, which is why we continue to work with companies like FlexJobs to provide portable, long term careers,” Roth-Douquet concluded.

FlexJobs is also featuring ten fully remote positions for military spouses who need portable careers to consider, with jobs such as recruiter, tutor, web designer, and marketing specialist highlighted.

FlexJobs is a proud supporter and a committed company of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes’ Hiring 100K Military Spouses campaign. FlexJobs will be speaking about remote jobs and military employment at the National Veterans Conference this August.

For more information please visit https://www.flexjobs.com/blog/post/military-spouse-job-discrimination-survey/ or contact Kathy Gardner at [email protected] for more information.