HARRISBURG (WSKG) — A recent report shows transgender people in Pennsylvania–and across the country–face significantly higher-than-average rates of unemployment and poverty. The numbers are part of a country-wide study by the National Center for Transgender Equality.
The figures show that in the year 2015, 11 percent of the commonwealth’s transgender population was unemployed, as opposed to just five percent of the general, national population.
A whopping 31 percent were impoverished, which contrasts with the national 14 percent poverty rate.
Sandy James, a spokesman for the center, said Pennsylvania is part of a much bigger trend.
“The consistency is actually really staggering,” he said. “Across the board, we’re seeing that Pennsylvanians are actually having the same kinds of issues that our full sample had.”
James says if anything is going to change, states need to start formally protecting transgender people in places like schools and the workplace.
“If you think in terms of employment and experiences in the workplace or education, they all are factoring into those poverty rates,” he said.
Pennsylvania doesn’t currently have statewide laws to stop harassment or discrimination against the transgender population.