Unemployment grew sharply among Americans with disabilities in July as the job situation remained largely steady for the rest of the population, the Department of Labor reported Friday.

At 16.4 percent, the unemployment rate among those with disabilities grew 2 percent over June when the rate stood at 14.4 percent. The uptick brings unemployment close to the record high of 16.9 percent seen in August 2009.

Meanwhile, unemployment among the general population increased marginally to 9.5 percent in July from 9.4 percent the previous month.

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The Department of Labor began tracking employment among people with disabilities in October 2008. There is not yet enough data compiled to establish seasonal trends within this group, so numbers are not seasonally adjusted.

Employment statistics on people with disabilities cover 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.