Just Released: New Florida Chamber Foundation Report Shows More Floridians with Disabilities Are Employed
Did you know, Florida’s unemployment rate for people with a disability has dropped from 23.2 percent to 16.3 percent from 2013 to 2017?
New data from the Florida Chamber Foundation’s recently released Study of Employment of Floridians with Disability Report shows:
- More Floridians with a disability were employed in 2017- with unemployment for Floridians with a disability falling nearly 7 percentage points from 2013 to 2017.
- There are an estimated 2.67 million Floridians who indicate that they have a disability-13.4 percent of all Floridians. In the 18 to 64 age group — the group most likely to be in the workforce — 1.2 million Floridians indicate they have a disability.
- The employment of Floridians with a disability has increased from 347,119 in 2013 to a total of 386,739 in 2017 —that’s an increase of 39,620 people.
Why does this matter?
While a declining unemployment rate for Floridians with disability is good news, challenges and opportunities still remain.
For instance, more than 3 million Floridians today are in poverty. Research shows there is a connection between poverty and disability, and vice-versa. Is there a program in your community or an organization you know that is working to combat poverty in your region? Share your thoughts with us here.
Florida’s economic outlook is healthy- Florida Chamber Foundation’s chief economist estimates that Florida will create 150,000 jobs in 2019, with a low chance of recession. Yet businesses continue to tell us workforce is one of their biggest issues. In fact, according to TheFloridaScorecard.org, there are 277,400 jobs looking for people and 335,000 people look for jobs. The Florida Chamber Foundation knows that hiring persons with disabilities will help diversify our economy- which will help pave the way toward securing Florida's future.
How can businesses help bridge the gap?
Increasing the number of company and government internships, apprenticeships, mentoring, and other workforce experiences for persons with a disability, would allow more people can get valuable work experience to help them get that all-important first job or a job that lets them re-enter the workforce. Programs like The Able Trust’s High School High Tech and the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Person’s with Disabilities Internship Program seek to work with businesses to create hands-on training and skills development for persons with disabilities.