Despite strong job growth last month, new federal data suggests that unemployment among people with disabilities ticked up sharply.

The jobless rate for Americans with disabilities hit 12.1 percent in November, the U.S. Department of Labor said Friday. That’s a steep increase over the 10.5 percent reported the month prior.

The shift comes as figures show fewer people with disabilities were employed and more sought to join the workforce.

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At the same time, the economy as a whole added 211,000 jobs and unemployment for the general population remained steady at 5 percent, the Labor Department said. Overall, government data indicates that the number of unemployed Americans has declined by 1.1 million over the last year.

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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