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Despite Hiring Uptick, More With Disabilities Jobless


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Hiring picked up in February, but not enough to tamp down a rise in unemployment among Americans with disabilities, the U.S. Department of Labor said Friday.

The jobless rate for those with disabilities grew to 14.3 percent last month, an increase over 13.3 percent the month prior.

The rise came even as a greater number of people with disabilities were employed, the Labor Department said.

The trend mirrored the experience of the workforce at large. While the economy added 175,000 jobs in February, the unemployment rate for the general population increased slightly to 6.7 percent.

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 (2 Responses)

  1. Rod Estvan says:

    Shaun Heasley’s report on the U.S. Department of Labor on employment of people with disabilities makes its look as if only 14.3 percent of disabled people who are age of 16-64 years old and not living in an institution are unemployed in our country. That is not really the case. If you look at the detail in the report (table A-6) you will see that people with disabilities had only a 19.1% participation rate in the labor force in February 2014, whereas non-disabled people in the same age range have a 68.5% participation rate in the labor force.

    Those who are not participating in the labor force and not institutionalized are often living on SSI, SSDI, or with the support of families. Many disabled people forced to live on SSI or SSDI would prefer to work in a job that would accommodate their disability, but they can find no such option.

    Rod Estvan

    Access Living of Chicago

  2. Whitney says:

    I find that correct assessment is with Rob. Most of these reports are really sugar coated to paint a rosier outlook. It gives an impression that the jobs are out there for people with disabilities and that they are not looking for them. Which is not the case at all. Most employers feel there is a little incentive to hire people with disabilities and that social security will pay for living expenses. There is also a perception that people with disabilities do not need jobs as much as non-disabled. The non-disabled also have the perception that the disabled are taking food out of there mouths.

    That there a great perception in DARS employment agencies that 14c covers people who are high functioning. Yes I know the arguments about productivity and I would honestly pay congress the same wage for their level productivity. It hinders the people who are high functioning or blind, hearing impaired or even the wheel chair from being productive citizens they also are force into 14c. Even though 14c has restrictions but I feel that people are trying to get around that. If people did not try to get around the issue with 14c will be null and void. It is not about that 14c is meant for intellectual disabilities it is more the fact 14c is being used on people who do not have intellectual disabilities.

    This is also a factor why people are discourage from participating in the labor market. It is more about find ing employment that also suited the people with disabilities skill set. Employers note that people with Aspergers are great with computer tech fields and most try to recruit them out. If you have person with computer tech skills makes sense to hire them in that field and not try to push them into garment industry where the productive is going be low.

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