Workers with Disabilities May Remain Unemployed Long After the COVID-19 Pandemic   [open pdf - 0B]

From the Document: "While the re-opening of the U.S. economy promises a return to work for some, this may not be the case for many displaced workers with disabilities. Workers with disabilities are often the first fired and last hired. The COVID-19 [coronavirus disease 2019] labor market is no exception to this rule. Recently released data suggest that employment rates between March and April 2020 decreased 18% for the general population, but 24% for workers with disabilities. While the 'new normal' of virtual work has created more inclusive and flexible online work environments, people with disabilities are losing, instead of gaining, traction in the labor market. But, why? The answer may lay in what workers with disabilities do for a living. People with disabilities, especially people of color and women with disabilities, are often pigeonholed into low status, low-wage, part-time, in-person, non-unionized jobs, which offer very little (if any) job security. Industries which have traditionally employed many workers with disabilities, such as food services, leisure and hospitality, construction, and manufacturing, experienced substantial job losses at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. While these types of positions are beginning to reemerge, they will likely be filled by those without disabilities, due to both individual and structural factors."

Report Number:
Lerner Center Issue Brief No. 30
Syracuse University Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion
Retrieved From:
Syracuse University Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion: https://lernercenter.syr.edu/
Media Type:
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