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New Stats Confirm Disability Employment Woes

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Work was particularly hard to come by for Americans with disabilities last year, according to a newly released report showing that in 2010 less than 1 in 5 with disabilities held jobs.

The report from the U.S. Department of Labor finds individuals with disabilities in all age groups were less likely to be employed than their typically developing peers.

Moreover, when those with disabilities did find jobs, they were more often part-time positions or opportunities for self-employment and less likely to be management or professional jobs.

The statistics offer a long-range view on employment data that’s released monthly by the Labor Department.

Though the picture painted by the report is a sobering one, the hiring experiences of people with disabilities appear to be steady. Even as unemployment soared to 9.4 percent for the general population, the jobless rate for those with disabilities remained largely unchanged from 2009 to 2010 at 14.8 percent.

Meanwhile, about 80 percent of those with disabilities were not considered to be in the labor force, meaning that they were not employed and were not looking for work. Just 30 percent of people in the general population fell into this same category.

One area that did appear to improve job prospects for workers with disabilities was increased education, the report found. However, even those with advanced degrees lagged behind similarly educated individuals without disabilities when it came to hiring.

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