Monday Morning Optimism 3/6/23
Remote work helps workers with disabilities
This is the first post in our new Monday Morning Optimism series. To start each week, we’ll send you an economic trend/fact/idea that shows how some aspect of the economy (or world) has improved over time. Want to sponsor a Monday Morning Optimism post? Just reach out to me (Zack) at Zfritz@sagepolicy.com.
The pandemic, and the increased prevalence of remote work, has made it a lot easier for Americans with disabilities to participate in the workforce. As of January 2023, the labor force participation rate for Americans with disabilities increased to 24.1%, the highest rate on record and about 3.5 percentage points above the pre-pandemic level.
Not coincidentally, the unemployment rate for Americans with disabilities reached a new all time low in December 2022 at 5.0%, falling below the previous record set in September 2019 (6.1%).
There are currently 1.4 million more Americans with disabilities participating in the workforce (+22.2%) than at the start of the pandemic. The number of labor force participants without a disability is down by 592,000 over that span, meaning that Americans with disabilities account for more than 100% of the growth in the labor force since February 2020.
This is good news for 1) people with disabilities, like vision or mobility impairments, who can now participate in the workforce and 2) a U.S. labor force in desperate need of workers.
A post on February’s jobs report (for all subscribers) and Week in Review (for paying subscribers) will go out this coming Friday. If you want to get our Week in Review posts, or want to read all of the most recent Q&A Post, just click the subscribe button.