People with disabilities hit an all-time high labor force participation rate of 40.2% in February, according to the latest National Trends in Disability Employment report.
The labor force participation rate reached an all-time high for people with disabilities in February, according to the most recent National Trends in Disability Employment (nTIDE) – a semi-monthly update, issued by Kessler Foundation and the University of New Hampshire’s Institute on Disability (UNH-IOD).
Comparing the year-to-year job indicators, nTIDE experts reported narrowing of the employment gap between people with and without disabilities, consistent with the pandemic-era trend for people with disabilities outperforming their counterparts without disabilities in the labor market.
Based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Jobs Report released today, the labor force participation rate for people with disabilities (ages 16-64) increased from 36.6% in February 2022 to an all-time high of 40.2% in February 2023.
For people without disabilities (ages 16-64), the labor force participation rate also increased from 76.9% in February 2022 to 77.3% in February 2023. The labor force participation rate reflects the percentage of people who are in the labor force (working, on temporary layoff, on furlough, or actively looking for work in the last four weeks) relative to the total population (the number of people in the labor force divided by the number of people in the total population multiplied by 100).
“Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, people with disabilities remained in the labor force and are now participating in the labor force at record rates, reaching just above 40% in February for the first time since the BLS began collecting data on people with disabilities in 2008,” said Andrew Houtenville, PhD, professor of economics and research director of the UNH-IOD. “Several factors may be influencing the increased participation of people with disabilities, including an increase in job opportunities and a pressing need to work as families face rising prices.”.
With regard to employment, the employment-to-population ratio for working-age people with. For working-age people without disabilities (ages 16-64), the employment-to-population ratio also increased from 73.8% in February 2022 to 74.4% in February 2023. The employment-to-population ratio, a key indicator, reflects the percentage of people who are working relative to the total population .
“We saw a narrowing of the gap in the employment-to-population ratio between people with and without disabilities from February 2022 to this year,” said John O’Neill, PhD, director of the Center for Employment and Disability Research at Kessler Foundation. “This is consistent with the gains we have seen as people with disabilities made a strong recovery from the pandemic.”
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