Economic News Release

Persons with a Disability: Labor Force Characteristics Summary

For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Tuesday, June 16, 2015                     USDL-15-1162

Technical information: (202) 691-6378  •  cpsinfo@bls.gov  •  www.bls.gov/cps
Media contact:         (202) 691-5902  •  PressOffice@bls.gov


         PERSONS WITH A DISABILITY: LABOR FORCE CHARACTERISTICS -- 2014


In 2014, 17.1 percent of persons with a disability were employed, the U.S. Bureau
of Labor Statistics reported today. In contrast, the employment-population ratio
for those without a disability was 64.6 percent. The ratio for persons with a
disability declined by 0.5 percentage point from 2013 to 2014, while the ratio for
those with no disability increased by 0.6 percentage point. The unemployment rate
of persons with a disability edged down to 12.5 percent from 2013 to 2014, while
the rate for those without a disability declined to 5.9 percent.

The data on persons with a disability are collected as part of the Current
Population Survey (CPS), a monthly sample survey of about 60,000 households that
provides statistics on employment and unemployment in the United States. The
collection of data on persons with a disability is sponsored by the Department
of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy. For more information, see the
Technical Note.

Highlights from the 2014 data:

   --Persons with a disability were about three times as likely as those
     with no disability to be age 65 and over. (See table 1.)

   --For all age groups, the employment-population ratio was much lower
     for persons with a disability than for those with no disability.
     (See table 1.)

   --Unemployment rates were higher for persons with a disability than
     for those with no disability among all educational attainment groups.
     (See table 1.)

   --In 2014, 33 percent of workers with a disability were employed part
     time, compared with 18 percent for those with no disability.
     (See table 2.)

   --Employed persons with a disability were more likely to be self-employed
     than those with no disability. (See table 4.)

Demographic characteristics

Persons with a disability tend to be older than persons with no disability,
reflecting the increased incidence of disability with age. In 2014, 47 percent
of persons with a disability were age 65 and older, compared with 14 percent of
those with no disability. Women were somewhat more likely to have a disability
than men, partly reflecting the greater life expectancy of women. In 2014, the
prevalence of a disability was higher for blacks and whites than for Hispanics
and Asians. (See table 1.)

Employment

The employment-population ratio for persons with a disability declined from 17.6
percent to 17.1 percent from 2013 to 2014. The ratio for those with no disability
increased from 64.0 percent to 64.6 percent. The lower ratio among persons with a
disability reflects, in part, the older age profile of persons with a disability;
older workers, regardless of disability status, are less likely to be employed.
However, across all age groups, persons with a disability were much less likely
to be employed than those with no disability. (See tables A and 1.)

Persons with a disability are less likely to have completed a bachelor's degree
or higher than those with no disability. Among both groups, those who have
completed higher levels of education were more likely to be employed than those
with less education. However, at all levels of education, persons with a
disability were much less likely to be employed than were their counterparts
with no disability. (Educational attainment data are presented for those age 25
and over.) (See table 1.)

Workers with a disability were more likely to be employed part time than those
with no disability. Among those with a disability, 33 percent usually worked
part time in 2014, compared with 18 percent of workers without a disability.
A slightly larger proportion of workers with a disability worked part time
for economic reasons than those with no disability (7 percent compared with
5 percent). These individuals were working part time because their hours
had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.
(See table 2.)

Workers with a disability were more likely than those with no disability to
work in production, transportation, and material moving occupations (15 percent
compared with 12 percent). Workers with a disability were less likely to work
in management, professional, and related occupations than those without a
disability (31 percent compared with 39 percent). (See table 3.)

In 2014, 15 percent of workers with a disability were employed in federal, state,
and local government, about the same percentage as those with no disability
(14 percent). Seventy-four percent of workers with a disability were employed
as private wage and salary workers, compared with 80 percent of those with no
disability. A larger proportion of workers with a disability were self-employed
than were those with no disability (11 percent versus 6 percent). (See table 4.)

Unemployment

The unemployment rate for persons with a disability was 12.5 percent in 2014,
about twice the figure of 5.9 percent for those with no disability. (Unemployed
persons are those who did not have a job, were available for work, and were
actively looking for a job in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.) The unemployment
rate for persons with a disability edged down by 0.7 percentage point in 2014,
while the rate for persons with no disability declined by 1.1 percentage points.
(See tables A and 1.)

Among persons with a disability, the unemployment rate was the same for both
men and women in 2014 (12.5 percent); the figure for men was little changed from
2013, while that for women edged down. Among the major race and ethnicity groups,
the jobless rates for whites and Hispanics were down over the year, while the
rates for blacks and Asians showed little or no change. As is the case among
those without a disability, the unemployment rates in 2014 for those with a
disability were higher among blacks (21.6 percent) and Hispanics (16.1 percent)
than among whites (11.2 percent) and Asians (8.6 percent). (See table 1.)

Not in the labor force

Persons who are neither employed nor unemployed are not in the labor force. As
was the case in 2013, a large proportion of persons with a disability--about
8 in 10--were not in the labor force in 2014, compared with about 3 in 10 of
those with no disability. In part, this reflects the fact that many of those with
a disability are age 65 and over, and older persons are, in general, less likely
to participate in the labor force compared with younger age groups. Across all
age groups, however, persons with a disability were more likely to be out of the
labor force than those with no disability. (See table 1.)

Among those not in the labor force with or without a disability, the vast majority
reported that they do not want a job. In 2014, about 1 percent of persons with a
disability were marginally attached to the labor force, compared with 3 percent
of those with no disability. These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted
and were available to work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months.
They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the
4 weeks preceding the survey. (See table 5.)



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Last Modified Date: June 16, 2015
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