How Labor Day Makes Me Feel as an Unemployed Person With a Disability:

First off, let me offer an apology for the lack of posts these past few days. I hadn’t been feeling well. Today is Labor Day. Labor Day is a celebration of the American labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of workers. Labor Day has been a federal holiday since 1894. Being unemployed is not fun, and leaves me questioning my worth. I want so desperately to be a part of the workforce.

I am nearly 22-years-old and have no employment history. The lack of employment history has actually prevented me from getting jobs when I’ve interviewed. This makes me feel pretty terrible about myself. Most people my age have at least worked part time.

My whole point in trying to pursue a higher education after graduating from high school was so that I would end up gainfully employed at the end of my college years. However, even with a college degree, those with disabilities are less likely to be employed than their nondisabled peers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 28.5 percent of college graduates with a disability were employed in 2018, compared to 75.5 percent of non-disabled graduates. I didn’t want to have worked hard to earn a bachelors degree only to end up unemployed at the end of it all.

I have been seeking employment since December of 2019, and have been unsuccessful in my pursuit. I have been rejected from a variety of different employers including Wendy’s and Stop And Shop among others. It is hard for me to see people who are my younger sibling’s age working at fast food restaurants and at the grocery store. I am hoping to be employed by the end of the year. Labor Day is a holiday honoring the contributions of American workers. I don’t feel right relaxing on a holiday honoring American workers when I’ve never been an American worker.

Sources:

Allarakhia, Hawa. “Employability and College Graduates with Disabilities.” Diverse: Issues In Higher Education., Diverse: Issues In Higher Education., 5 Aug. 2019, http://www.diverseeducation.com/demographics/disabilties/article/15105185/employability-and-college-graduates-with-disabilities.

History.com Editors. “Labor Day 2021.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 13 Apr. 2010, http://www.history.com/topics/holidays/labor-day-1.

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