More Than a Spouse

Together We’re Stronger®

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The Crisis in Military Spouse Unemployment

For most American families, financial stability requires two incomes. Military families are no exception. But all too often, they’re forced to make do on one.

While the military may designate them as dependents, we know military spouses are much more than just partners. Military spouses are active contributors in their families and communities, providing essential, unpaid support as their families move across the world every two-to-three years, navigate social and emotional challenges unique to military life, and bolster the social infrastructure that ensures mission readiness and success.

These contributions are expected—and relied on—to ensure our military is ready to meet the call of service.

Yet, despite their invaluable contributions to their families and our nation, they face significant employment barriers, jeopardizing their family’s financial security and our military’s recruitment, retention, and readiness.

Despite their willingness and eagerness to contribute to their family’s financial security, 35% of unemployed military spouses cite a need or desire to be employed. The impact of these employment challenges extends beyond financial strain; 44% of military families report that spouse employment issues significantly stress their family life.

These challenges aren’t new. Military spouse unemployment rates have hovered near 22% for decades.

If you’re a military spouse struggling to find a job, you’re not alone. You’re More Than A Spouse, and we’re here to help.

Military Spouses Stand Out

In the landscape of the American workforce, military spouses stand out for their unique strengths, honed by the demands of military life.

  • Military spouses quickly adapt to new situations and environments, efficiently handling change.
  • Military spouses are resourceful, problem-solving, and leading in the face of challenges.
  • Military spouses excel in creating and nurturing relationships and building community wherever they are.
  • Military spouses carry a love for their nation and pride in service, which shines through their work.

Military Spouse Employment

  • Military Spouses earn 26.8% less in income than their non-military counterparts.
  • Military spouse unemployment stands at 21% compared to the 3.7% national unemployment rate.
  • Military spouse unemployment costs society roughly $1 Billion

*Source Military OneSource, Data from OPA Survey of Active Duty Spouses

Resources for Military Spouses

NMFA Professional Groups
We offer private groups to connect military spouses in nursing, teaching, and mental health. Network with peers, identify accredited academic programs, understand licensing/certification requirements, learn about different industry credentials, and share employment opportunities.

Licensing and Certification Support
Because of frequent PCS moves across state lines, military spouses with professional and occupational licenses and certifications face a constant cycle of time-consuming tasks and pocket-emptying fees to keep their credentials up to date.

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Military Spouse Education

  • 30% of military spouses hold a four-year degree.
  • More than 30% of military spouses are in an occupation requiring a license or certification
  • 23% of active-duty military spouses were enrolled in school or training

*Source: Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness at Penn State

Resources for Military Spouses

NMFA Scholarships
Since 2004, NMFA has cheered on military spouses by awarding scholarships to help pay for everything from GEDs to PhDs, professional licenses and certifications, including re-licensure, business and entrepreneurial expenses, supervised clinical hours, continuing education courses, and more.

Lockheed STEM Career Tool
Advancing careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) is prevalent in today’s society. STEM education is a critical first step to exploring careers in technological advancement. Use this interactive tool from Lockheed Martin to explore careers in STEM.

Show Your Commitment

More Than A Spouse is more than a tagline; it’s a commitment to recognizing and leveraging the untapped potential of military spouses in the workforce. Together, we can ensure the contributions military spouses bring to our communities do not go unnoticed. Hire a military spouse today! Together, we’re stronger®.

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Hiring Our Heroes. (2022). The hidden financial costs of military spouse unemployment. U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. Retrieved March 1, 2024, from

Military Family Advisory Network. (2021). Military spouse experience: Current issues and gaps in service. Retrieved March 1, 2024, from

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. (2022). Data from OPA survey of active duty spouses. Retrieved March 1, 2024, from

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