New York State to study trans employment numbers

The New York State Department of Labor and the Division of Human Rights will conduct a study to determine the employment rate of transgender New Yorkers as part of a new law to identify gender disparities. workforce on the basis of gender identity.

The two state agencies are embarking on the research initiative following legislation spearheaded by State Senator Kevin Parker of Brooklyn and Assemblywoman Amy Paulin of Westchester. The invoice passed both houses, and Governor Kathy Hochul signed it into law on August 10.

“For too long, trans people — especially in communities of color — have faced significant barriers to economic success,” Hochul said in a written statement. ” This is unacceptable. Thanks to this new law, New York will be able to study these inequalities so that we can develop the legislative solutions to eliminate them once and for all.

Political leaders hope the study will provide the statistical basis to demonstrate the need for greater support for trans workers in New York.

“A preliminary study by the state Department of Labor and its Human Rights Division will help ensure that the necessary steps are taken to ensure that transgender people have the same earning opportunities as the general population” , Parker said in a statement. written statement.

Those comments were echoed by Elisa Crespo, who is executive director of a statewide LGBTQ advocacy group known as New Pride Agenda.

“For too long, trans people have suffered from deep poverty and income inequality,” Crespo said. “We look forward to the crucial data the study will yield and even more to partnering with the state to help create innovative ideas that will improve the economic status of the many trans people who call New York home.”

TS Candii, who helped lead the fight to repeal a “Walking While Trans” law that has been used by police to disproportionately target trans women of color, said the new law will help “shed light on the plight of the black and brown transgender community and our lack of job opportunities in New York State.

“This will further prove how underemployment in our community leads to chronic homelessness and lack of adequate health care, which are too often commonplace in our community,” said TS Candii, who added that the project of law is especially important for trans women of color. .

After the search is completed, the Department of Labor is required to provide a report of the findings to the governor, according to the text of the legislation. The Speaker of the National Assembly and the Senate Majority Leader will be required to publish a report on their respective websites one year after the law comes into effect.

Most lawmakers backed the bill, but it received five “no” votes in the upper house from state senators Fred Ashkar, Patrick M. Gallivan, Robert G. Ortt, George Borrello and Thomas F. O’ Mara.

National statistics have already shown disparities on the basis of gender identity. In 2013, twice as many transgender people were unemployed as the general population, and 44% of trans workers were underemployed, according to a report co-authored by the Movement Advancement Project (MAP), the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE ), the Center for American Progress (CAP) and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC).

These employment gaps have been compounded by other factors, including student debt. Research published by the Williams Institute of UCLA in 2021 indicated that 51% of transgender people had federal student loans, which was 15% higher than lesbian, bisexual and queer cisgender women and 23 points higher than cisgender men. gay, bisexual and queer.

Denise W. Whigham