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The Joining Forces initiative has exceeded its goal of hiring 100,000 veterans and military spouses more than a year ahead of expectations.
More than 2,000 companies have participated in the initiative, hiring 125,000 veterans and military spouses, said a White House official in a conference call with reporters.
First lady Michelle Obama made an official announcement at Naval Station Mayport, Fla. Wednesday. Last August, Joining Forces challenged the private sector to hire 100,000 veterans and military spouses by the end of 2013.
Of the 125,000 hires, 28,000 hires were military spouses, the official said.
The 2,000-plus companies represent a wide variety of sectors, including manufacturing, health care, information technology, finance, transportation, entertainment and others.
These same companies have now pledged to hire an additional 250,000 veterans and military spouses by 2014, the official said. That includes commitments by the companies in DoD's Military Spouse Employment Partnership to hire an additional 50,000 spouses within the next three years.
The official said this and other Obama administration initiatives have resulted in a 20-percent decrease in unemployment among veterans, dropping the number from 975,000 in July 2011 to 752,000 this past July.