I also wish there was a better method for vertical/up mining. There are ways to work around it but they’re kind of tedious.
I usually settle near a mountain/wall so I can mine same level as my settlement, and wanted to mine the layer above that, and pretty much had to ladder up outside and cut another hole, and then ultimately I was able to work in some stairs between layers and remove the external ladder, but then you either need to fill in that cut (tried that and workers won’t do it) or live with a “balcony” and it’s a lot of extra work just to do something that’s usually simple in these kinds of games.
It seems like they want to keep the UI/controls uncomplicated but it sure would be nice to have a “mine stairs up” and/or “mine stairs/down” option ala Gnomoria/DF kind of thing. Even if you could get them to mine above themselves, cutting stairs up or down for mining is a common task and doing it repeatedly with the 1x1 tool, while doable, is kind of tedious.