The unemployment rate for those with disabilities fell sharply last month, the U.S. Department of Labor said, but not entirely because more people are on the job.

The jobless rate fell to 12.5 percent in April for Americans with disabilities, down from 14.5 percent the month prior. While the decline reflects a modest gain in the number employed, it was also due in part to a growing number of people giving up on the job market altogether, data suggest.

At the same time, a similar trend was seen in the general population as the overall unemployment rate dropped last month to 6.3 percent, the Labor Department said.

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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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