What does it mean to have equal opportunities to work? Click each statistic to see critical disparities in employment opportunities and why supporting employment services are essential to a more inclusive future for you and your loved ones.
From February to June, the total number of people with disabilities working in America dropped by 12.1% according to the Bureau of Labor. During economic downturns, research shows workers with disabilities are especially vulnerable to layoffs. In Mass, where the unemployment rate is still one of the highest in the country, workers with disabilities have been hit especially hard by the pandemic. They tend to have underlying health conditions and working in an “essential” job has made it impossible for people with disabilities to return to work until the risk of covid-19 spread is lowered.
Across all age groups, labor force participation rates are 3X higher for people without a disability as compared to people with a disability—68.7 percent. versus 20.8 percent.
Massachusetts had the highest unemployment rate in the country for two months in a row at 16.1% (06/20, 07/20) and remains well above the national average with 11.3% unemployment in August. Studies show that unemployment contributes heavily to increasing trends of homelessness, poverty, and even suicide amongst local Veterans. Record high unemployment rates during the pandemic compound disproportionately high unemployment rates for people with a disability (regardless of education)- 7.3 percent, compared with 3.5 percent for people without a disability.
We can do better! Massachusetts ranks 27th in the country for overall disability employment representation. Additionally, the state set a goal of 12% for representation of employees with disabilities in public office, but has remained at 3% for years.
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