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Jobs Report Offers Mixed Signals For People With Disabilities

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The unemployment rate among Americans with disabilities dipped somewhat in January, but remains significantly higher than that for the rest of the population.

For the first month of 2011, those with disabilities faced an unemployment rate of 13.6 percent, according to Labor Department data released Friday. That’s down from 14.3 percent in December.

This change is due in part to fewer people with disabilities looking for work.

Meanwhile, unemployment among the general population dropped to its lowest level in nearly two years, settling at 9 percent in January.

The Department of Labor began tracking employment among people with disabilities in October 2008. There is not yet enough data compiled to establish seasonal trends among this population, so statistics for this group are not seasonally adjusted.

Data on people with disabilities covers those over the age of 16 who do not live in institutions. The first employment report specific to this population was made available in February 2009. Now, reports are released monthly.

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  1. drichards1953 says:

    The change is increasingly obvious, that many persons with disability are simply ending their search for work. Despite law to the contrary, employers are making it increasingly clear that disability does matter to them, and they are not interested in hiring a person with a disability, especially such a person that might be over 40; despite having an extensive work history and multiple graduate degrees. As a professional in the provision of services to people with disability, and a person with a disability I find the current employment situation for people with disabilities unacceptable. Most of my friends, all of whom have extensive education, are now finding no success in finding valid employment. There are simply too many false beliefs that employers hold, including that an employee with a disability will cost more, or my favorite that they believe that all people with a disability get money from the US government. This will not change until the Dept. of Justice gets very serious about enforcement of Section 504, the ADA and related law. Of course the employer that discriminates the most against persons with a disability is the Federal Government.

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