Economic News Release

Persons with a Disability: Labor Force Characteristics Summary

For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Wednesday, June 12, 2013             USDL-13-1141

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 -- 2012


In 2012, 17.8 percent of persons with a disability were employed, the U.S. 
Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. In contrast, the employment-population 
ratio for persons without a disability was 63.9 percent. The employment-population 
ratio for persons with a disability was unchanged from 2011 to 2012, while the 
ratio for persons without a disability increased. The unemployment rate for persons 
with a disability was 13.4 percent in 2012, higher than the rate for persons with 
no disability (7.9 percent). The jobless rates for both groups declined from 2011 to 2012.

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 2012 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 was much lower 
     for persons with a disability than for those with no disability.
     (See table 1.)

   --The unemployment rate for persons with a disability declined from
     2011 to 2012. The rate for persons without a disability also fell 
     over the year. (See table A.)

   --In 2012, 33 percent of workers with a disability were employed
     part time, compared with 19 percent of 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 2012, 46 percent 
of persons with a disability were age 65 and over, compared with 13 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 17.8 percent 
in 2012, unchanged from 2011. The ratio for those with no disability increased 
from 63.6 percent to 63.9 percent. The lower ratio among persons with a 
disability is due, in part, to the fact that a large share of the population 
of persons with a disability was age 65 and older, and 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 65 and over, the employment-population 
ratio rose to 6.9 percent in 2012, while the ratio for persons age 16 to 64 
with a disability held at 27.0 percent. For persons without a disability, the 
ratios for both age groups increased from 2011 to 2012. (See table A.)

In 2012, persons with a disability with 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 
were their counterparts with no disability. (See table 1.)

Workers with a disability were more likely than those with no disability to 
work part time. Among workers with a disability, 33 percent usually worked part 
time in 2012, 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 6 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 2012, workers with a disability were more likely than those with no 
disability to work in production, transportation, and materials moving
occupations (16 percent compared with 12 percent). Those with a disability 
were less likely than those with no disability to work in management, 
professional, and related occupations (32 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 (73 percent 
versus 79 percent). The incidence of self-employment among workers with a 
disability was higher than among workers with no disability (11 percent versus 
7 percent). (See table 4.)

Unemployment

The unemployment rate for persons with a disability was 13.4 percent in 2012, 
higher than the rate for persons with no disability (7.9 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 rates for both persons with a disability and those without a 
disability were lower in 2012 than in the prior year. (See table A.)

In 2012, the unemployment rate for men with a disability (13.2 percent) was 
about the same as the rate for women (13.7 percent). As is the case among those 
without a disability, the unemployment rates in 2012 for those with a 
disability were higher among blacks (20.8 percent) and Hispanics (19.0 percent) 
than among whites (12.3 percent) and Asians (11.8 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 2012, compared with about 3 in 10 persons with no disability. 
In part, this reflects the fact that persons with a disability tend to be much 
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 more likely than those with no disability to be out of
the labor force. (See table 1.)

Among those not in the labor force, 1 percent of those with a disability were 
marginally attached to the labor force in 2012, compared with 3 percent of 
those with no disability. These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted 
and were available for 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. For persons with and without a 
disability, the vast majority of those not in the labor force reported that 
they do not want a job. (See table 5.)



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Last Modified Date: June 12, 2013
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