Depression Level Unemployed for Disabled Workers

Ideas and Issues Organizing

The unemployedNew Orleans I was at a lost to figure out what shocked me more, the report that the US Government had never looked at the impact on employment and the disabled, or the stark terror of the depression level unemployment figures:  14.5% for 2009 and already 16.4% by midyear 2010!

The news was, if anything, even bleaker as reported by the Wall Street Journal.

  • 1/3rd of the disabled were working part-time, when they could get work, compared to 1/5th of the abled workforce.
  • Disabled with college degrees were 2 times as likely to be unemployed as the abled with close to a 9% unemployment rate in their situations.
  • More than 15% of the disabled work for the government – thank goodness – but that also means that current government cutbacks and layoffs will also hammer them.
  • The disabled are more likely to be self-employed than the abled.
  • Disability payments are now being paid to 10,000,000 people as of August – an increase of almost 1.5 million over the same month in 2009.

The recession is part of this, but the numbers are too widespread and systemic.  How can these patterns not be seen as discrimination?