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Disability Employment Shows Signs Of Improvement


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The job situation for Americans with disabilities improved dramatically in October with unemployment dropping to its lowest level in more than two years, the Labor Department said Friday.

The unemployment rate fell to 13.2 percent for those with disabilities in October. That’s down significantly from 16.1 percent the month prior and marks the lowest jobless rate on record since April 2009.

The improvement in the employment situation is significant because it comes even as the number of Americans with disabilities who were in the labor force — those working or seeking work — increased. In contrast, the unemployment rate has eased at other times largely due to a decline in the number of people looking for employment rather than an actual improvement in the job market.

Despite the gains seen in October, the unemployment rate for people with disabilities remained significantly higher than that for the rest of the population, which eased just slightly to 9 percent as the economy added 80,000 jobs.

The U.S. 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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Comments (1 Response)

  1. TerriSchonfeld says:

    The downward trend in the unemployment rate for those with disabilities is quite an accomplishment in our country, considering the overall unemployment rate. My daughter, diagnosed with Williams Syndrome, has set goals in place for her education and employment after high school. These trends continue to give parents hope that our communities are becoming much more inclusive for those with Intellectual Disabilities.

    I will add that we need to continue our efforts with post-secondary schools, whether vocational or colleges to add more programs to assist those with I/DD. Obviously, those in the disability community have an advantage for employment with outstanding career-readiness programs, certificates and degrees. Many can then work in our community without relying on government supports.

    As an avid advocate for those with disabilities, it is wonderful to see these hopeful trends in our country and local communities.

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