Survey: 46% of Military Spouses Feel Job Search Discrimination


Nearly Half of Military Spouses Have Felt Discriminated Against in Their Job Search

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. Read on for more of the survey results!

As part of National Military Appreciation Month this May, FlexJobs and our partner, Blue Star Families, are releasing these survey results to help employers and all of us better understand the sacrifices made by our nation’s military spouses, along with the rich talent and experience they can bring to the workforce, and the ways flexible and remote work options can help. 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.

Military Life & Military Spouse Job Discrimination

It’s no surprise that survey respondents say their careers have been deeply affected by military spouse job discrimination.

  • 91% of military spouses say being a military spouse has had a negative impact on their career.
  • 32% of military spouses have had to leave a job at least three times because of a military-related move.

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. And 50% have tried to hide the fact that they are a spouse to somebody in the service to avoid military spouse job discrimination.

But like most professionals, 81% of military spouses report that the primary reason they work is because of personal fulfillment, ahead of paying for basic necessities or saving for retirement. Simply put, military spouses want to work, just like many of us. And, they’re qualified: 71% of respondents have at least a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to only about 34% of the general U.S. population.

Flexible and Remote Jobs for Military Spouses

We asked survey respondents to tell us which types of flexible work options they would most prefer. Why flexible work in particular? It’s a necessity for this group of professionals. A majority, 65%, of military spouses have felt like they had no choice but to leave a job because it did not have work flexibility.

Jobs with a flexible schedule are the most preferred type of work arrangement for military spouses (77%), followed by fully remote work (71%), alternative schedule (41%), part-time (40%), partially remote work (40%), and freelance (22%).

As we mentioned, FlexJobs and Blue Star Families partnered to conduct this survey because we’re both committed to providing employment support for military spouses. Blue Star Families builds communities that support military families by connecting research and data to programs and solutions, including career development tools, local community events for families, and caregiver support.

“Spouseforce, our career program, helps place military spouses into long-term jobs as well as asks them what they need to be successful,” Kathy Roth-Douquet, CEO of Blue Star Families explained to us. “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.”

Since its inception in 2009, Blue Star Families has engaged tens of thousands of volunteers and serves more than 1.5 million military family members. With Blue Star Families, military families can find answers to their challenges anywhere they are.

FlexJobs is honored to support military spouses by providing a faster, easier, and safer way to find flexible work options, and we give special thanks to the military spouses on our own staff. We will be speaking about remote jobs and military employment at the National Veterans Conference this August.


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