- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 13, 2013

WASHINGTON (AP) — First lady Michelle Obama on Wednesday challenged some of America’s top CEOs to “think outside the box” and hire more veterans.

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

Mrs. Obama said a campaign she launched two years ago with Jill Biden, Vice President Joseph R. Biden’s wife, has led businesses to hire or train more than 125,000 veterans and military spouses, but more needs to be done, she said.

The first lady urged CEO members of the Business Roundtable to “think outside the box” when they are considering hiring veterans.