New Yorkers with Disabilities are having difficulties finding work
New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli released a report in April showing that people with disabilities in New York State were having a harder time than most other Americans with disabilities regaining employment opportunity lost during the pandemic. Employment Recovery Is Slow for New Yorkers with Disabilities | Office of the New York State Comptroller
Rates of unemployment for people with disabilities in both New York and the U.S. were both near 8% in 2019—and both increased by a little over 5% in 2020. However, unemployment rates for people with disabilities in the U.S. declined in both 2021 and 2022—returning to pre-pandemic levels near 8%. Unfortunately, in New York unemployment rates continued to increase in 2021—reaching a high of 14.7%. While the unemployment rate for people with disabilities decreased in the state in 2022—it remained 3% points higher than pre-pandemic levels.
The report mentioned state actions intended to further reduce unemployment for people with disabilities—such as increasing the number of non-competitive civil service positions in state government reserved for people with disabilities, expanding the State’s preferred source contracting program, and created a training and certification program for employers that have taken the State’s EmployAbility pledge to demonstrate their commitment to inclusive workplaces.
We need to remind both the governor and our state legislators that investing in Independent Living Centers is another direct way to support people with disabilities and help people to enter the workforce.