Forecasts for Friday’s jobs report show that we may be experiencing a long-awaited post-pandemic rebound in employment. The economy is expected to add more than 500,000 new jobs. But these big topline numbers obscure the fact that the economic recovery is not reaching everyone. Disabled workers, especially disabled women, were hit harder by the pandemic than nondisabled workers and their return to work has been fragile.
At the height of the pandemic, disabled workers’ unemployment rate reached 18.9% compared with 14.3% of nondisabled workers. And while the unemployment rates for both groups have dropped, the gap between disabled and nondisabled workers has widened. Last month’s jobs report showed that the unemployment rate for disabled workers was still 10.2%, nearly twice that of their nondisabled counterparts, at 5.3%.
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Director, Disability Justice Initiative