As the nation’s jobless rate hit a milestone last month, work prospects for Americans with disabilities appeared to improve just slightly, the U.S. Department of Labor said Friday.

The unemployment rate for those with disabilities dipped to 12.3 percent in September, down from 12.8 percent the previous month.

At the same time, the unemployment rate for the general population fell to 5.9 percent as the economy added 248,000 jobs, the Labor Department said, dropping below the 6 percent mark for the first time in years.

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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.