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Mar 13, 2013 1:28 PM by Associated Press

Michelle Obama urges CEOs to hire more veterans

WASHINGTON - Michelle Obama is challenging some of America's top CEOs to "think outside the box" and hire more veterans.

The first lady said Wednesday that while declines in U.S. unemployment are encouraging, joblessness among veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is nearly 2 points higher, at 9.4 percent. She said that translates into about 200,000 unemployed veterans, excluding military spouses and those who will return home after the U.S. ends its combat mission in Afghanistan.

Mrs. Obama said a campaign she launched two years ago with Jill Biden, the vice president's wife, has led businesses to hire or train more than 125,000 veterans and military spouses. But she said more needs to be done.

The first lady urged CEOs to "think outside the box" when they consider hiring veterans.

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