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Employment Among Adults with Disabilities Continues Decline, Data Says

Kessler Foundation, West Orange, NJ, and the University of New Hampshire’s Institute on Disability report that employment numbers for individuals with disabilities continue to decline when compared to January 2013. The results, which also indicated that job data was mixed for individuals without disabilities, appear in the National Trends in Disability Employment—Monthly Update (nTIDE). The Foundation and the University of New Hampshire’s Institute on Disability issue the nTIDE.

The Foundation notes that in a recent news release that Bureau of Labor Statistics’ “first-Friday” data, released February 7, indicates the employment-to-population ratio increased from 27.0% in January 2013 to 24.1% in January 2014 for working-age individuals with disabilities.

John O’Neill, PhD, Kessler Foundation’s director of Employment and Disability Research, rearticulates the results, noting that the employment outlook for the country was, “relatively unchanged. However, when looking at employment for people with disabilities, a lesser portion of people with disabilities are working. The nTIDE Updates for the last two months showed the same discouraging results—that while the economy is holding steady for people with disabilities, the employment gap continues to widen for Americans with disabilities.”

See also the November 2013 update

The results suggest that for individuals without disabilities, the employment-to-population ratio increased modestly from 69.7% in January 2013 to 70.4% in January 2014. The employment-to-population ratio, a key indicator, reflects the percentage of people who are working relative to the total population.

Additionally, the data indicates that the labor force participation decreased from 31.7% in January 2013 to 28.3% in January 2014 for individuals with disabilities. The Foundation explains that the labor force participation rate represents the percentage of individuals working or actively looking for work. For individuals without disabilities, the labor force participation rate also reportedly declined slightly from 76.1% in January 2013 to 75.6% in January 2014.

The Foundation states that in January 2014, among workers aged 16 to 64 years old, the 3,664,000 workers with disabilities represented 2.7% of the total of 135,651,000 workers in the US.

The release notes that the next nTIDE will be issued March 7.

Source: Kessler Foundation