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LGBTQ workers still face higher unemployment rates

LGBTQ workers still face higher unemployment rates
[Photo: Peter Hershey/Unsplash]

In March, the U.S. Census Bureau announced it would not be collecting data on sexual orientation and gender identity in 2020, a move that LGBTQ advocacy groups decried as a form of erasure. That decision led the social-science company CivicScience, with the support of organizations including the National LGBTQ Task Force, to collect its own survey data through anonymous online polling that’s so far covered over 153,000 respondents, more than 10,000 of whom self-identify as LGBTQ. (The Census Bureau has since reversed course and will now collect the data.)

The survey revealed that while 9% of working-age Americans overall are unemployed (30% who aren’t working are retired, students, or homemakers), 13% of LGBTQ people are currently out of work. And for trans and gender non-binary workers, the unemployment rate is even higher, at 16%. 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.

According to CivicScience, 38% of LGBTQ Americans expect it to become harder to find a job over the next six months. The general population is more optimistic, with only 33% anticipating shrinking job prospects. Considering what Fast Company learned from nearly 3,000 LGBTQ workers who recently weighed in about their workplace experiences, these anxieties aren’t difficult to understand. Many face challenges that straight workers don’t, particularly under the Trump Administration.RB