Economic Recovery, but for Whom?
The economic recovery continues to lurch forward- but ever so slowly. Approximately employers added approximately 115,000 net jobs in April, and the unemployment rate fell again, from 8.2 percent down to 8.1 percent. That drop in the unemployment rate, though, is less the result of sustained positive growth, and more due to a shrinking labor force. Total private-sector additions of 130,000 jobs were countered by a loss of 15,000 government jobs, due largely to budget cuts in state and local government.
Reports about the state of the economy in April remain mixed- a survey of economists showed considerable optimism for a growing economy, while others have seized on the fact that 324,000 workers exited the labor force in April, precipitating the continued drop in the unemployment rate.
While the employment situation remains tough for many Americans, the ride is rougher still for people with disabilities. The Department of Labor reported that the unemployment rate in April among people with disabilities was 12.5 percent, well above the 7.6 percent rate for people without disabilities and the 8.1 percent total rate.
We must ensure that we do our part not only in advocacy, but also in the way we operate Jewish organizations across North America. In congregations, philanthropies, federations and other offices, we must include people with disabilities in our workplaces to set an example for other sectors to follow.
To that end, the Union for Reform Judaism, in conjunction with many other faith organizations and congregations across America, has signed on to the Statement of Solidarity Around Employment of People with Disabilities, written by the Interfaith Disability Advocacy Coalition. The statement recognizes the impact that employment has on the lives and well-being of people with disabilities and strives to make employment opportunities available.
The Union for Reform Judaism is encouraging all of its congregations to sign on to the Statement of Solidarity, available here. Together, we can help everyone become a full member of our communities and do our part to continue the economic recovery.
Image courtesy of Oregon Live