Temporary employment may be becoming permanent
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.
In December 2018 the U.S. Census Bureau released the 2013-2017 American Community Survey summary data. In the recently released fact sheet “Employment disparity grows for rural Americans with disability,” RTC:Rural researchers used this data to begin exploring how employment rates have changed for people with disabilities in the context of changing economic conditions. They found increasing disparities between people with and without disabilities across the country as well as across the rural-urban continuum.
Click the links below to download the fact sheet from the RTC:Rural and Rural Institute ScholarWorks collection:
Improving employment outcomes for people with disabilities requires overcoming persistent rural conditions and barriers
Using data from the American Community Survey, RTC:Rural researchers created three maps to explore disability and employment. The three maps are:
- Disability in America: Employment Rates
- Disability in America: Unemployment Rates
- Disability in America: Out of Labor Force
Full size images of these maps, and further analysis and text description of them, can be found on the RTC:Rural website at this link: Maps of Disability and Employment.