The unemployment rate for Americans with disabilities remained stubbornly high in July, falling just slightly below the record-tying level seen the previous month.

The jobless rate in July was 16.8 percent for those with disabilities, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. That’s down negligibly from 16.9 percent in June when unemployment equaled the record-high set in August 2009.

The employment difficulties come as the economy showed some signs of life in July, adding 117,000 jobs. Despite this, the unemployment rate for the general population also changed little, dropping to 9.1 percent from 9.2 percent in June.

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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.