As the nation’s unemployment rate fell to its lowest level in years, new data from the U.S. Department of Labor suggests that people with disabilities are struggling to keep up.

The jobless rate for Americans with disabilities hit 10.2 percent last month, little changed from the 10.4 rate the prior month, the Labor Department said in its monthly jobs report Friday.

At the same time, however, the number of people with disabilities considered to be in the labor force declined, as fewer individuals within this population were employed or actively seeking work.

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Meanwhile, the economy as a whole added 173,000 jobs in August and the unemployment rate for the general population dipped to 5.1 percent, the Labor Department said.

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.