Economic News Release

Persons with a Disability: Labor Force Characteristics Summary

For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Wednesday, June 11, 2014             USDL-14-1076

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 -- 2013


In 2013, 17.6 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 64.0 percent. The employment-population ratio 
was little changed from 2012 to 2013 for both groups. The unemployment rate for 
those with a disability was 13.2 percent in 2013, higher than the rate for persons 
with no disability (7.1 percent). The jobless rate for persons with a disability 
was little changed from 2012 to 2013, while the rate for those without a disability 
declined.

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 
information 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 2013 data:

--Persons with a disability were over 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 for persons with a 
  disability was less than half that of those with no disability. (See table 1.)

--In 2013, 34 percent of workers with a disability were employed part time, compared 
  with 19 percent of those with no disability. (See table 2.)

--Fifteen percent of workers with a disability were employed in federal, state, 
  or local government, similar to the share for workers with no disability (14 percent). 
  (See table 4.)

--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 2013, 46 percent of 
persons with a disability were age 65 and over, compared with 14 percent of those 
with no disability. Overall, women were somewhat more likely to have a disability 
than men, partly reflecting the greater life expectancy of women. Among the major 
race and ethnicity groups, the prevalence of a disability was higher for blacks 
and whites than for Asians and Hispanics. (See table 1.)

Employment

The employment-population ratio for persons with a disability was 17.6 percent in 
2013, little changed from 2012. The ratio for those with no disability showed 
little change in 2013, at 64.0 percent. The lower ratio among persons with a 
disability is due, in part, to the large share of the population of persons with a 
disability that was age 65 and older, as older persons 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.)

Among persons with a disability age 16 to 64, the employment-population ratio, 
at 26.8 percent in 2013, changed little over the year and was unchanged for those 
age 65 and over, at 6.9 percent. (See table A.)

In 2013, those who had higher levels of education were more likely to be employed 
than those with less education. At all levels of education, persons with a 
disability were much less likely to be employed than their counterparts with no 
disability. (See table 1.)

Workers with a disability were more likely to be employed part time than those with 
no disability. Among workers with a disability, 34 percent usually worked part time 
in 2013, compared with 19 percent of workers without a disability. The proportion 
of workers who were employed part time for economic reasons was slightly higher 
among those with a disability than among those without a disability (7 percent 
versus 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.)

In 2013, workers with a disability were more likely to be employed in production, 
transportation, and material moving occupations than those with no disability 
(15 percent compared with 12 percent). Those with a disability were less likely 
than their counterparts to work in management, professional, and related 
occupations (33 percent compared with 38 percent). (See table 3.)

The share of workers with a disability employed in federal, state, and local 
government (15 percent) was about the same as the share for those with no 
disability (14 percent). Workers with a disability were less likely than those 
with no disability to be employed in private wage and salary jobs (74 percent 
versus 80 percent). The incidence of self-employment among workers with a 
disability was higher than among workers with no disability (11 percent versus 
6 percent). (See table 4.)

Unemployment

The unemployment rate for persons with a disability was 13.2 percent in 2013, 
higher than the rate for those with no disability (7.1 percent). (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 was little changed from 2012 to 2013, while 
the rate for those without a disability was lower in 2013 than in the prior year. 
(See table A.)

In 2013, the unemployment rate for men with a disability (13.0 percent) was 
about the same as the rate for women (13.5 percent). As was the case among those 
without a disability, the unemployment rates for those with a disability were 
higher among blacks (19.2 percent) and Hispanics (18.6 percent) than among whites 
(12.2 percent) and Asians (8.9 percent). (See table 1.)

Not in the Labor Force

Persons who are neither employed nor unemployed are not in the labor force. A 
large proportion of persons with a disability--about 8 in 10--were not in the labor 
force in 2013, compared with about 3 in 10 persons with no disability. In part, 
this reflects the fact that persons with a disability tend to be older than those 
without a disability and older persons are, in general, less likely to be labor 
force participants. However, for all age groups, persons with a disability were 
much more likely than those with no disability to be out of the labor force. 
(See table 1.)

Among those not in the labor force with and without a disability, the vast 
majority reported that they do not want a job. In 2013, 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.)



The PDF version of the news release

Table of Contents

Last Modified Date: June 11, 2014
Recommend this page using: