A program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation

Drivers of Economic Growth for Military Spouses


Despite record levels of job openings across America and historically low unemployment among adult women, military spouses—a population that is 92% female—continue to face chronically high unemployment rates.

Beyond the direct impact on these spouses and their families, the ripple effects of this military spouse-specific recession have implications for both America’s business community and its national security.

Efforts to quantify and characterize the stark contrast between the employment situation for military spouses and that of their non-military counterparts has led to waves of real change throughout the public and private sectors to include hiring initiatives and the development of fellowships.

Through a Google.org grant, Grow with Google is supporting Hiring Our Heroes to conduct a macro study, Examining Entrepreneurship, Remote Work, and Up-Skilling as Drivers of Economic Growth for Military Spouses, aimed at identifying the specific challenges and barriers that military spouses face to participating in entrepreneurial endeavors, growing small businesses, participating in remote work, and reskilling to growth industries.



The study will be shaped around the data yielded from two research phases: a series of focus groups that will inform the development of the survey followed by a large-scale survey that will be fielded to military spouses around the globe.

The focus groups, which are being conducted throughout the summer and early fall of 2019, will provide qualitative data related to military spouse unemployment, underemployment, entrepreneurship and upskilling.

The survey, which will be fielded in the fall of 2019, will poll respondents who are spouses of active duty service members as well as spouses of veterans who retired or separated from the military in the last three years.

Analysis & Results

The analysis of the survey results will inform a trio of white papers that will identify emerging trends in the future of work for military spouses and highlight best practices for military spouses, businesses, nonprofit organizations, and policy makers.

The first white paper will be released in early 2020, with subsequent releases in the spring and summer of 2020.


A Program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation