The August job numbers rose for people with disabilities in contrast to declines for people without disabilities, according to the National Trends in Disability Employment – Monthly Update (nTIDE) for August, issued by Kessler Foundation and the University of New Hampshire’s Institute on Disability (UNH-IOD).
This improvement may be a sign of resilience among workers with disabilities, who have continued striving to work throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
nTIDE COVID Update
In the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Jobs Report, the employment-to-population ratio for working-age people with disabilities increased from 30.8% in July to 31.5% in August 2021 (up 2.3% or 0.7 percentage points). For working-age people without disabilities, the employment-to-population ratio decreased slightly from 73.4% in July to 72.9% in August 2021 (down 0.7% or 0.5 percentage points).
The employment-to-population ratio, a key indicator, reflects the percentage of people who are working relative to the total population (the number of people working divided by the number of people in the total population multiplied by 100).
“This upward movement may be related to rising vaccination rates and people with disabilities feeling safer returning to the labor market. This is a reversal of the minor decline in the employment-to-population ratio we saw last month for people with disabilities.”
— John O’Neill, PhD, director of the Center for Employment and Disability Research at Kessler Foundation
The labor force participation rate for working-age people with disabilities increased from 35.2% in July to 35.6% in August 2021 (up 1.1% or 0.4 percentage points). For working-age people without disabilities, the labor force participation rate also decreased from 77.6% in July to 76.8% in August 2021 (down 1.0% or 0.8 percentage points).
The labor force participation rate is the percentage of the population that is working, not working and on temporary layoff, or not working and actively looking for work.
“Throughout the course of the pandemic, people with disabilities have demonstrated tremendous resilience as evidenced by the strength of their labor force participation. Given this resilience, we expect people with disabilities to strive to remain in the labor force (working, looking for work, or on furlough), even as the Delta variant spreads, and many social distancing requirements are reinstated.”
— Andrew Houtenville, PhD, professor of economics and the research director of the University of New Hampshire’s Institute on Disability
Year-to-Year nTIDE Numbers
The employment-to-population ratio for working-age people with disabilities increased from 28.8% in August 2020 to 31.5% in August 2021 (up 9.4% or 2.7 percentage points). For working-age people without disabilities, the employment-to-population ratio also increased from 69.7% in August 2020 to 72.9% in August 2021 (up 4.6% or 3.2 percentage points).
The labor force participation rate for working-age people with disabilities increased from 33.6% in August 2020 to 35.6% in August 2021 (up 6% or 2 percentage points). For working-age people without disabilities, the labor force participation rate also increased from 76.1% in August 2020 to 76.8% in August 2021 (up 0.9% or 0.7 percentage points).
In August 2021, among workers ages 16-64, the 4,932,000 workers with disabilities represented 3.4% of the total 143,071,000 workers in the US.
nTIDE COVID Update – Friday, September 24 at 12:00 pm Eastern
Stay tuned for our mid-month update about the employment of people with disabilities as we follow the impact of COVID-19 and look at the numbers in more detail.
NOTE: The statistics in the nTIDE are based on Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers but are not identical. They are customized by UNH to combine the statistics for men and women of working age (16 to 64). nTIDE is funded, in part, by grants from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) (90RT5037) and Kessler Foundation.
[Source(s): Kessler Foundation, EurekAlert]
July 2021 nTIDE: Employment Slows as COVID Pandemic Restrictions Loom
June 2021 nTIDE: Job Numbers Close in on Pre-Pandemic Levels
February 2021 nTIDE Suggests Modest Job Gains for Workers with Disabilities