People With Disabilities Sidelined As Hiring Increases
Job seekers saw a boost in hiring in December, but people with disabilities did not appear to get a piece of the good karma.
Employment data released Friday from the U.S. Department of Labor indicates that unemployment among those with disabilities rose to 13.5 percent in December. That’s up from 13 percent the prior month, the lowest rate seen in two-and-a-half years.
The increase in joblessness among Americans with disabilities occurred as fewer people in this group were employed and more decided to stop looking for work altogether.
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The negative job news for the disability community comes in the face of a bright spot in employment for the general population. The Labor Department reported that the economy added 200,000 new jobs in December and general unemployment declined to 8.5 percent.
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 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.