Center for American Progress

RELEASE: For LGBT Communities, Higher Rates of Economic Insecurity and Labor Market Gaps Persist Despite Robust US Recovery
Press Release

RELEASE: For LGBT Communities, Higher Rates of Economic Insecurity and Labor Market Gaps Persist Despite Robust US Recovery

Washington, D.C. — While the U.S. economic recovery has been more equitable and robust than prior recoveries, a new fact sheet released today from the Center for American Progress finds that LGBT communities are still experiencing higher rates of economic insecurity and labor market gaps than non-LGBT communities. Using new data from the Household Pulse Survey, the fact sheet reveals that although some LGBT individuals are more likely or just as likely to be employed compared with non-LGBT individuals, they are also more likely to live in households earning below the poverty line and to struggle to make ends meet. The authors examine LGBT communities’ experiences since July 2021, when the U.S. Census Bureau took the historic step of adding questions about sexual orientation and gender identity to one of the surveys it sponsors.

“As Pride Month kicks off today, it’s important to recognize the barriers to economic security that continue to hold back this growing part of the U.S. workforce,” said Caroline Medina, senior policy analyst for the LGBTQI+ Research and Communications Project at CAP and co-author of the fact sheet. “Greater investments in LGBTQI+-inclusive data collection are critical to deepen our understanding of the economic challenges faced by LGBTQI+ communities and craft policies to help address them.”

Among the authors’ most striking findings:

  • LGBT households are more likely to live in poverty. LGBT individuals were more likely than non-LGBT individuals to report a household income of less than $25,000 in 2020, at 20 percent compared with 14 percent, with LGBT respondents of color and transgender respondents reporting higher rates.
  • On average, from July 2021 to April 2022, LGBT individuals were more likely than non-LGBT individuals to report that it has been somewhat or very difficult for their household to pay for usual household expenses in the past week, at 38 percent compared with 29 percent. Again, these disparities are larger among respondents of color and transgender respondents.
  • LGBT respondents, particularly transgender respondents, are more likely than non-LGBT respondents to report receiving unemployment insurance since January 2022.

“Good jobs should be available to all workers, regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, or intersex status,” said Rose Khattar, associate director of rapid response and analysis for Economic Policy at CAP and co-author of the fact sheet. “Among other measures, lawmakers must enact policies that ensure all jobs provide fair wages and health benefits; support workers’ right to form unions; and make anti-discrimination protections real by empowering LGBTQI+ workers to stand up for their rights.”

Click here to read: “Fact Sheet: LGBT Workers in the Labor Market” by Carolina Medina, Rose Khattar, Lindsay Mahowald, and Aurelia Glass

For more information or to speak with an expert, please reach out to Tricia Woodcome at twoodcome@americanprogress.org