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Trump Signs Executive Order on Hiring Military Spouses

Posted Tuesday, May 15, 2018 6:26 am

In an effort to further support military families, President Trump signed an Executor Order last week directing federal agencies to increase efforts to hire military spouses.  The “Executive Order Enhancing Noncompetitive Civil Service Appointments of Military Spouses” seeks to address the employment challenges that exist for military spouses who frequently relocate in support of their spouse’s military service.  Such challenges are reflected in statistics detailed in a Fact Sheet issued by the White House, including the fact that military spouse unemployment rate has averaged between 20 percent and 25 percent over the past decade. 

The Executive Order directs federal agencies to indicate on job opportunity announcements (JOAs) that “they will consider candidates under the military spouse hiring authority in addition to candidates identified on the competitive or merit promotion certificate, as well as those candidates identified through any other hiring authority a JOA indicates an agency will consider” to the extent possible while remaining consistent with the agency’s hiring needs.  It also orders the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to educate agencies regarding the use of the noncompetitive hiring authority.  Finally, it requires agencies to provide annual reports on their efforts to advertise to and recruit military spouses for vacant positions, and directs them to research and suggest new strategies to improve license portability and other initiatives to enhance military spouse employability.    

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