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Fewer With Disabilities On The Job


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As the nation’s unemployment rate dropped to a five-year low last month, Americans with disabilities struggled to make gains in the job market, new data suggests.

Unemployment among people with disabilities dipped to 12.3 percent in November, the U.S. Department of Labor said Friday. That’s down from 12.8 percent the prior month.

However, the declining unemployment rate came — at least in part — because fewer individuals with disabilities were seeking work. The number of people with disabilities who were considered to be employed actually fell between October and November, the Labor Department said.

At the same time, the overall unemployment rate reached 7 percent for the first time in five years as the economy added 203,000 jobs.

Federal officials 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 (3 Responses)

  1. Jon K. Evans says:

    As a person with Asperger’s I have had to begrudgingly accept Underemployment-rather than being employed as I was trained. As for the time I was unemployed, that protracted unemployment periods have been longer, and employers, and their agencies are less inclined to hire me-or determine that a job would be a good fit for me.

  2. Deborah Webb says:

    I hear you Jon K. Evans. I have Aspergers too, and have had to accept underemployment, and I have a college degree. Voc Rehab seems unwilling to acknowledge that college degree and so has one of its contractors. That contractor had someone helping me get a job appropriate to not only a college degree but one appropriate to my major. The job helper was fired because he was trying to help me get “too good” of a job for a person with a disability, and the job helper’s boss was never going to get her $1,000 if I were to “wait out” a decent job for my education and experience. The job helper’s boss was thinking along the lines of child care worker or janitorial for me or something a person would go to college so they WOULDN’T have to accept such jobs. Child care worker would have been a HORRIBLE fit for me because the high-pitched screams of young children ramp up my stress levels real fast, but that contractor boss didn’t care if I wasn’t a good fit for the job. She wanted her $1,000, whatever it took-at my expense.

  3. Deborah Webb says:

    Of course, fewer people with disabilities are on the job. Those of us with disabilities have always been excluded from employment opportunities because employers would rather hire a less qualified person without a disability than a more qualified person with a disability. They flagrantly thumb their noses at the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) and avoid hiring qualified people with disabilities with the assumption that person will want/need an expensive accommodation. Hopefully, with the amendments in the Americans With Disabilities Act, judges will not be able to throw out ADA cases regardless of merit with the impunity with which they have in the past. It is bad enough to be excluded from job opportunities without also being disenfranchised by the American so-called justice system just because we were born with or acquired a disability. We are still people too, with all the needs, wishes, and dreams people fortunate enough NOT to have a disability have.

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