November 13, 2020

New fact sheet: Unemployment among people with disabilities during COVID-19

Temporary employment may be becoming permanent

cover of fact sheet: unemployment among people with disabilities during COVID-19 recession. Link to full fact sheet in post.

People with disabilities are often the first to experience economic disruptions, and among the last to recover. Unemployment among people with disabilities spiked to 18.9% in April 2020 and declined to 12.5% in September. Both the initial increase and recent decrease in unemployment was primarily driven by changes in temporary unemployment (unemployed workers who expect to go back to their same job within six months). While temporary unemployment has gone down, permanent unemployment has risen since the recession began, and may indicate that for some, temporary unemployment is becoming permanent.

As the recession wears on and unemployment benefits begin to expire, long-term recovery to pre-pandemic levels may become elusive, yet again leaving people with disabilities behind.


To learn more about these findings, follow the link below to download the research brief from the RTC:Rural and Rural Institute ScholarWorks collection:

America at a glance: Unemployment among people with disabilities during the COVID-19 recession

The research brief is is available to download as an accessible PDF, text-only Word doc or text-only EPUB file.


COVID-19 and Rural People with Disabilities

RTC:Rural has been working to share relevant research and information about how the COVID-19 pandemic is, and will continue, to impact people with disabilities. Find a curated list of our COVID-19 posts here:

COVID-19 and Rural People with Disabilities