With nearly two job openings available for every job seeker, the shortage of workers in the United States has many employers over a barrel in the fight to acquire and retain talent. But for candidates who are typically overlooked by hiring managers, the labor shortage offers an opportunity.
Advocates for marginalized populations such as people with disabilities, the formerly incarcerated and those who are housing-insecure, say today’s labor market is enabling the people they work with to demonstrate to employers — and themselves — that they can be valuable contributors to a thriving economy.
Employers today “are more willing to give an opportunity for someone… to demonstrate that they’re qualified for the job,” said Doug Smith, director of employment services at Chimes, a nonprofit organization that helps employ people with disabilities.
“We have, at least over the past year, seen a significant increase in the number of individuals being hired,” he said. While the percentage of people with a disability who work is still very low, at 22.5%, this does represent an inc