ALBANY, NY (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) – A report released on Wednesday, April 12 by New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli shows that New Yorkers with disabilities have had a slower time getting back to work after the pandemic. The report says while during the pandemic, the unemployment rate hovered at almost 14 percent, but it hasn’t dropped much in the two years since.

DiNapoli’s report says that in 2022, the unemployment rate for people with disabilities was at 11.9%, only down 2% from pandemic highs. The national rate went to a high of 13.4% but has since dropped to 8.2%.  

Between those times, the number of working-age people with disabilities grew over 14% in New York, compared to just under 11% nationally.

The state has recently taken steps to address the problem, including the creation of the Office of the Chief Disability Officer. The state has also created training programs for employers to make a more inclusive work environment for people with disabilities.

“For people living with disabilities, the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated many challenges, but also presented new opportunities through increased remote work,” DiNapoli said in a statement. “New York needs to address barriers to equal employment and invest in services and supports that will help level the playing field for disabled New Yorkers in the workplace.”