With Labor Day right around the corner comes a report from Kessler Foundation and the University of New Hampshire’s Institute on Disability (UNH-IOD), which notes that the number of people with disabilities who are working continues to improve.

The National Trends in Disability Employment – Monthly Update (nTIDE) report is based on data compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The statistics in the nTIDE are then customized by UNH to combine the statistics for men and women of working age (16 to 64).

Based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, the employment-to-population ratio for working-age people with disabilities increased from 27.2% in August 2016 to 29.5% in August 2017 (up 8.5%; 2.3 percentage points). For working-age people without disabilities, the employment-to-population ratio also increased from 73% in August 2016 to 73.6% in August 2017 (up 0.8%; 0.6 percentage points).

The employment-to-population ratio 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 proportion of people with disabilities working continues to improve for the seventeenth consecutive month,” notes John O’Neill, PhD, director of employment and disability research at Kessler Foundation, in a media release. “While this prolonged stretch of gains is encouraging, we need to remember that the gap in employment between people with and without disabilities is still a large one,” he adds.

The labor force participation rate for working-age people with disabilities increased from 31% in August 2016 to 32.5% in August 2017 (up 4.8%; 1.5 percentage points). For working-age people without disabilities, the labor force participation rate also increased from 76.7% in August 2016 to 77.0% in August 2017 (up 0.4%; 0.3 percentage points). The labor force participation rate is the percentage of the population that is working or actively looking for work.

“Transportation is often cited as a major barrier by people with disabilities, especially those who are seeking employment,” says Debra Brucker, PhD, research assistant professor at UNH, in the release. “Yet, we see evidence that this is a barrier that can be successfully overcome, according to the 2015 Kessler Foundation National Disability & Employment Survey,” she adds.

In August 2017, among workers ages 16-64, the 4,641,000 workers with disabilities represented 3.2% of the total 144,371,000 workers in the United States, the release continues.

[Source(s): Kessler Foundation, EurekAlert]