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The Face of Disability in the United States

The Face of Disability in the United States

Every year, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics collects data on persons with disabilities from the Current Population Survey (CPS). The information comes from a monthly sample of approximately 60,000 households in the United States. Breakdowns are based on gender and age, along with employment status.

Their annual study for 2016 revealed that if disabled and non-disabled persons are divided into two groups, the disabled group would have a higher average age. nearly half of the disabled are 65 years old while people without a disability in the same age group accounted for 15 percent. Data also revealed that women were more likely to be disabled than men.

People with a disability have a 17.9 percent employment rate. Conversely, people without a disability came in higher at 65.3 percent. Employment for both categories increased from the previous year (0.4 percent for persons with a disability and 0.3 percent for individuals with no disabilities).

More specific statistics include:

  • 47 percent of people with a disability were 65 years of age and over, representing a three-times larger share than the non-disabled group
  • The employment-population ratio dropped for persons with disability compared to non-disabled individuals in all age groups
  • In all education groups, unemployment rates for persons with a disability were higher than the non-disabled group
  • Of those working part-time last year, 34 percent were disabled and 18 percent had no disability
  • Those who were employed with a disability were more likely to be self-employed

The overall unemployment rate for the disabled showed little change in 2016 at 10.5 percent. However, the unemployed without a disability saw a decline of 4.6 percent.

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