The number of federal workers with disabilities is on the rise, with a new report finding that such employment has reached its highest level in more than three decades.

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management said in a report released Thursday that the nation’s largest employer added 16,653 new employees with disabilities during the 2012 fiscal year, bringing the total to nearly 220,000.

That’s more people with disabilities than have been employed by the government at any other time in the last 32 years, officials said.

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Workers with disabilities accounted for 11.89 percent of the federal workforce at the close of the 2012 fiscal year, the report found, representing nearly a full percentage point gain over the previous year.

The uptick comes amid a push to increase federal employment of people with disabilities. In 2010, President Barack Obama issued an executive order calling on the government to add 100,000 new workers with disabilities by 2015.

“Since President Obama issued his executive order in 2010, we’ve made substantial progress in hiring and retaining people with disabilities over the past three years,” said Katherine Archuleta, director of the Office of Personnel Management. “This work is enabling the federal government to continue to develop as a model employer for people with disabilities.”

But federal officials still have a ways to go to meet Obama’s goal. Since 2010, about 54,000 workers with disabilities have been hired, the report indicates.

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