Despite strong overall hiring, the number of Americans with disabilities on the job took a slide last month, federal data indicates.

The unemployment rate for those with disabilities grew to 12.5 percent in February, the U.S. Department of Labor said Friday. That’s a rise over the 10.8 percent reported for the month prior.

The shift comes as a greater number of people with disabilities actively sought work, yet fewer were employed.

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At the same time, however, the economy as a whole added 242,000 jobs and unemployment for the general population remained unchanged at 4.9 percent.

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.