Disabled American workers, who already struggle with limited employment opportunities, bear a greater burden of the economic crisis triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Even before the economic constraints linked to the pandemic, Georgians with disabilities always struggled to find job opportunities. People who struggle with physical and mental disabilities find it hard to locate employment that can accomodate certain impairments. However, the Covid-19 crisis has made those differences in opportunities even more stark.
Many disabled workers face challenges with vision, hearing loss, and mobility problems. High volume employers in the restautrant, hotel and retail industries do tend to employ more workers with limitations. However, these industries have been most seriously affected by the pandemic. Many of these industries have been brought virtually to a standstill since March and many of those jobs have simply disappeared.
According to data from the Bureau of Labour Statistics, during the peak of the unemployment crisis induced by the pandemic, the general rate of unemployment was 14.3% of the non-disabled population, compared to close to 19% of the disabled population in the United States. Now, even as Georgia and other states have begun to reopen their economies, the national jobless rate for Americans suffering from some kind of disability has dropped to 16.5%, while the rate has dropped to 11% for Americans with no disability.
Even as hiring picks up, most employers are looking for workers who are able to perform a wide range of tasks, something that disabled workers often find out of their reach.