Newly Released Arizona Study Confirms Economic Power of Workers with Disabilities
(October 2019)—Governor Douglas Ducey issued a proclamation honoring October as Disability Employment Awareness month - a time to recognize the often-overlooked talents that people with disabilities bring to the workforce.
In response to NDEAM, the Arizona Developmental Disabilities Planning Council (ADDPC) is releasing an important study that measures the state’s economic impact of employing workers with disabilities. Prepared by the Institute of Community Inclusion (ICI) at the University of Massachusetts, this is the first study of its kind in the nation. The research team developed a statistical model to predict ways Arizona’s economy would improve if more people with disabilities land jobs.
Among the findings, about one in three Arizonans with disabilities are employed compared to three out of four people without disabilities. If Arizona increased the rate of workforce participation of workers with disabilities by 6 percentage points over a span of a decade:
- The state would receive an annual increase of between $281 million and $818 million in gross domestic product (GDP).
- In the short term, up to $41.5 million tax in additional state tax revenue would be generated each year.
- Up to 20,420 new jobs would be created over the next decade.
“This study validates the economic power workers with disabilities bring to our state,” said Erica McFadden, executive director of ADDPC. “We are investing in our bottom line when we provide opportunities and accommodations to job seekers of every ability.”
The study also looked at Arizona’s state systems that support employment to determine what’s working and what’s not. A summary and full report are available to download on the ADDPC website.
Throughout the year, ADDPC shares information, research, and resources online and through events held statewide. Find out the latest Arizona employment news by subscribing to our email list and visiting the new Arizona Employment First website.