WEST ORANGE, NJ--(Marketwired - Feb 7, 2014) - To begin the New Year, employment numbers continue to decline for people with disabilities when compared to January 2013, while jobs data are mixed for people without disabilities, according to today's National Trends in Disability Employment - Monthly Update (nTIDE), issued by Kessler Foundation and the University of New Hampshire's Institute on Disability (UNH-IOD).
In Bureau of Labor Statistics' "first-Friday" data released Friday, February 7, the employment-to-population ratio decreased from 27.0 percent in January 2013 to 24.1 percent in January 2014 (down 10.7 percent; 2.9 percentage points) for working-age people with disabilities. "This morning's news about the employment outlook of the country was relatively unchanged," according to John O'Neill, Ph.D., Kessler Foundation's Director of Employment and Disability Research. "However, when looking at employment for people with disabilities, a lesser proportion of people with disabilities are working. The nTIDE Updates for the last two months showed the same discouraging results -- that while the economy is holding steady for people without disabilities, the employment gap continues to widen for Americans with disabilities."
In contrast, for people without disabilities, the employment-to-population ratio increased slightly from 69.7 percent in January 2013 to 70.4 percent in January 2014 (up 1.0 percent; 0.7 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).
In addition, the labor force participation rate decreased for people with disabilities, from 31.7 percent in January 2013 to 28.3 percent in January 2014 (down 10.7 percent; 3.4 percentage points). The labor force participation rate is the percentage of people who are working or actively looking for work (the number of people working or looking for work divided by the number of people in the total population multiplied by 100). "As with the last two months, fewer people with disabilities are engaged in the labor force, which is discouraging and suggests that people with disabilities are not participating in the country's recovery from the recession," according to Andrew Houtenville, Ph.D., UNH-IOD Associate Professor of Economics. For people without disabilities, the labor force participation rate also declined, although slightly, from 76.1 percent in January 2013 to 75.6 percent in January 2014 (down 0.7 percent; 0.5 percentage points).
In January 2014, among workers ages 16-64, the 3,664,000 workers with disabilities represented 2.7 percent of the total 135,651,000 workers in the U.S.
"The figures in the nTIDE are not seasonally adjusted," noted Dr. O'Neill. "The collection of disability employment statistics began a few years ago, and it will take some time for seasonal trends to become evident."
The next National Trends in Disability Employment - Monthly Update will be issued on Friday, March 7, 2014.
NOTE: The statistics in the National Trends in Disability Employment - Update are based on Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers, but are NOT identical. They have been customized by the University of New Hampshire to efficiently combine the statistics for men and women of working age (16 to 64).
National Trends in Disability Employment - Monthly Update is funded, in part, by a grant from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (H133B130015 & H133B120005), and Kessler Foundation.
About Kessler Foundation
Kessler Foundation, a major nonprofit organization in the field of disability, is a global leader in rehabilitation research that seeks to improve cognition, mobility and long-term outcomes, including employment, for people with neurological disabilities caused by diseases and injuries of the brain and spinal cord. Kessler Foundation leads the nation in funding innovative programs that expand opportunities for employment for people with disabilities. For more information, visit KesslerFoundation.org.
About the Institute on Disability at the University of New Hampshire
The Institute on Disability (IOD) at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) was established in 1987 to provide a coherent university-based focus for the improvement of knowledge, policies, and practices related to the lives of persons with disabilities and their families. For information on the NIDRR-funded Employment Policy and Measurement Rehabilitation Research and Training Center, visit http://www.ResearchonDisability.org.
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