The National Trends in Disability Employment – Monthly Update (nTIDE) for October 2017, issued by Kessler Foundation and the University of New Hampshire’s Institute on Disability (UNH-IOD), continues to reflect increasing inclusion of Americans with disabilities in the workforce.

In the recently released Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Jobs Report, the employment-to-population ratio for working-age people with disabilities increased from 27.9% in October 2016 to 30.5% in October 2017 (up 9.3%; 2.6 percentage points). For working-age people without disabilities, the employment-to-population ratio also increased from 73.1% in October 2016 to 73.7% in October 2017 (up 0.8%; 0.6 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), explains a media release from Kessler Foundation.

“For the 19th consecutive month, the proportion of people with disabilities working has continued to grow, and once again, their gains are outpacing those of people without disabilities,” according to John O’Neill, PhD, director of employment and disability research at Kessler Foundation, in a media release. “The duration of this upward trend shows that individuals with disabilities are striving to work and that the processes and practices employers are using to recruit and hire people with disabilities appear to be paying off,” he added.

The labor force participation rate for working-age people with disabilities increased from 31.3% in October 2016 to 33.3% in October 2017 (up 6.4%; 2 percentage points). For working-age people without disabilities, the labor force participation rate also increased from 76.5% in October 2016 to 76.6% in October 2017 (up 0.1%; 0.1 percentage points). The labor force participation rate is the percentage of the population that is working or actively looking for work, the release continues.

“Although the job numbers remain positive, we need to remember that people with disabilities have yet to achieve their pre-Great Recession employment levels,” states Andrew Houtenville, PhD, associate professor of economics at UNH and research director of the Institute on Disability. “Kessler Foundation’s 2017 Survey, by identifying effective practices and processes for inclusion of people with disabilities in the workplace, provides new direction for efforts to narrow the employment gap between people with and without disabilities.”

 “Looking at the practices that work for individuals with and without disabilities is especially revealing,” O’Neill adds. “Just as universal design makes spaces usable by all, these practices can make employment more accessible for everyone. Despite being viewed as effective, however, some practices are being underutilized.”

“The survey results provide a new imperative,” O’Neill continues. “Better implementation of effective practices is a pathway to greater employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities.”

The release notes that 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).

The next nTIDE will be issued on Friday, December 8.

[Source(s): Kessler Foundation, PRWeb]