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Unemployment Surges For People With Disabilities

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The unemployment rate among Americans with disabilities increased significantly in January, the U.S. Department of Labor said Friday.

Statistics indicate that the jobless rate jumped to 13.7 percent last month for people with disabilities, a steep rise over the 11.7 percent unemployment rate reported for the final month of 2012.

Multiple factors appear to have contributed to the growth in individuals with disabilities without jobs in January. Not only were there more without jobs, but the number of people seeking work also grew, according to Labor Department data.

Despite the glum picture for Americans with disabilities, the employment situation was little changed for the general population. Statistics show that the economy added 157,000 jobs in January but the unemployment rate was relatively stable at 7.9 percent.

The Labor Department 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 (5 Responses)

  1. Mark L. Olson says:

    This DoL number would be laughable for its inaccuracy if it weren’t so sad. The reality is many times higher, and in Nevada where we have the highest unemployment rate for the general population, it’s almost insulting. Another reason behind the creation of our Autism Entrepreneurs Center

  2. Sandy Stoddard says:

    Maybe the unemployment rate for the disabled would drop if there was no threat or penalty of losing disability benefits for trying to make a contribution to the working world.

  3. Marjorie Madfis says:

    can you provide a break out by type of disability? or at least physical vs developmental?

  4. Tacitus says:

    Funny how this came right after a surge in workplace discrimination complaints, isn’t it?

    There’s supposed to be laws protecting people from retaliation. But it’s hard to use those to your advantage as a worker, let alone a disabled worker.

  5. Megan Elliott says:

    Sandy Stoddard, there is a Social Security Administration program in place called the “Ticket to Work” program that you can enroll in which helps you try working without losing your benefits. There hasn’t been an education of the public about this program, so a lot of the people we call have no idea that this program exists. There are also work incentives that can help you stay employed, especially when the EN is partnered with a company that is actively recruiting and hiring the disabled, because there are incentives for companies too!

    Marjorie Madfis, I’m subscribed to the e-mails and have read the report from the Department of Labor. I couldn’t see where they had broken it into categories for disability – it was simply noninstitutionalized vs. institutionalized. I’m not sure what definition they used to determine these characteristics of the population.

    Hope these comments help!

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