Washington, D.C., March 23 –While nationally 111,804 jobs were gained by people with disabilities, 810 people with disabilities left Hawaii’s workforce last year. Said Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, president of RespectAbility, “After strong job growth for people with disabilities in the state, this is a troubling development. People with disabilities want the income and dignity of work, just like anyone else.”
The newly published 2018 Annual Disability Statistics Compendium shows there are 59,469 working-age (ages 18-64) people with disabilities living in Hawaii. Out of that number, only 25,546 have jobs. That means the Aloha state has a 43 percent disability employment rate. Further analysis by the nonpartisan advocacy group RespectAbility shows that Hawaii ranks 14th out of the 50 states for disability employment. While some Hawaiians with disabilities left the workforce last year, the state’s disability employment rate has been steadily increasing over the years from 31.6 percent in 2015 to 43 percent in 2017.