Despite concerns about the impact of inflation, employment indicators remained virtually unchanged, according to the recent National Trends in Disability Employment – Monthly Update (nTIDE), issued by Kessler Foundation and the University of New Hampshire’s Institute on Disability (UNH-IOD). NTIDE experts observed that this lack of movement may reflect the early impact of countermeasures aimed at slowing the pace of inflation.
Month-to-Month nTIDE Numbers (comparing July 2022 to August 2022)
In the recent U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Jobs Report, the employment-to-population ratio for people with disabilities (ages 16-64) increased slightly from 34.4 percent in July to 34.6 percent in August (up 0.6 percent or 0.2 percentage points). For people without disabilities (ages 16-64), the employment-to-population ratio decreased slightly from 75.0 percent in July to 74.6 percent in August (down 0.5 percent or 0.4 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).
“The employment-to-population ratio for people with disabilities has remained steadily above historic highs for the past twelve months,” said John O’Neill, PhD, director of the Center for Employment and Disability Research at Kessler Foundation. “This is encouraging for now,” he added, “considering the growing concerns about recession.”
Findings were similar for August’s labor force participation rate. For people with disabilities (ages 16-64), the labor force participation rate increased slightly from 37.3 percent in July to 37.6 percent in August (up 0.8 percent or 0.3 percentage points). For people without disabilities (ages 16-64), the labor force participation rate decreased slightly from 77.8 percent in July to 77.5 percent in August (down 0.4 percent or 0.3 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.
“The lack of movement in these labor market indicators may be an early sign of the impact of anti-inflationary measures taken by the U.S. Federal Reserve to slow the economy,” remarked Andrew Houtenville, PhD, professor of economics and the research director of the UNH-IOD. “Historically, impacts on the labor market lag behind movements in economic growth such as movement in gross domestic product (GDP). We would not expect to see large changes in employment and labor force participation until after we see declines in economic growth,” explained Dr. Houtenville.
Year-to-Year nTIDE Numbers (Comparing August 2021 to August 2022)
The employment-to-population ratio for working-age people with disabilities increased from 31.5 percent in August to 34.6 percent in August (up 9.8 percent or 3.1 percentage points). For working-age people without disabilities, the employment-to-population ratio also increased from 72.9 percent in August to 74.6 percent in August (up 2.3 percent or 1.7 percentage points).
Similarly, for people with disabilities (16-64), the labor force participation rate increased from 35.6 percent in August to 37.6 percent in August (up 5.6 percent or 2 percentage points). For people without disabilities (ages 16-64), the labor force participation rate also increased from 76.8 percent in August to 77.5 percent in August (up 0.9 percent or 0.7 percentage points).
In August, among workers ages 16-64, the 5,583,000 workers with disabilities represented 3.8 percent of the total 148,206,000 workers in the U.S.
[Source(s): Kessler Foundation, EurekAlert]