LGBTQ workers' unemployment rate may be 3x the national average
- LGBTQ individuals face an unemployment rate that is nearly three times the national average, Fast Company reports.
- The finding comes from a CivicScience survey that polled 153,000 individuals. It found that unemployment for working-age Americans is at 9% (although the federal government puts that number at 4.1%), while unemployment for LGBTQ workers is at 13%. The rate is even higher (16%) for transgender and gender non-binary individuals. "That finding reflects previous research suggesting that the unemployment rate among transgender workers is two to three times higher than it is for the overall U.S. workforce," Fast Company said.
- Survey results also show that 38% of LGBTQ Americans think finding a job will be harder during the next six months, compared with 33% of the general population.
The survey results may indicate discrimination in hiring and other employment practices. And while the courts are still considering whether federal law protects workers from discrimination based on their sexual orientation and gender identity, employers have reason to ensure that their applicants and workers don't engage such discrimination.
First, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which enforces the relevant law, believes that such characteristics are covered. While some courts don't agree, employers continue to enter into settlement agreements with the commission to avoid litigation. In addition, some state and local laws explicitly prohibit such discrimination.
Employers also must be mindful of workplace harassment. A recent CareerBuilder survey revealed that 40% of LGBTQ workers said they felt bullied in the workplace — 11 percentage points higher than all workers. And of those who experienced bullying, 41% said it forced them to leave their jobs.
- Fast Company LGBTQ workers still face higher unemployment rates