Dedicated to Improving the Lives of Blind and Visually Impaired People

Disability Employment Updates

by Daniel Parker, RDPFS Intern

A slight upward trend has occurred in the numbers of employed people with disabilities, from 19.1 percent in 2021 to 21.3 percent in 2022, according to new statistics released by The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). These findings were taken from the Current Population Survey (CPS), a “monthly sample survey of about 60,000 households that provides statistics on employment and unemployment in the United States.” Despite this trend, however, people with disabilities were more than twice as likely to be unemployed than those without disabilities (7.6 percent versus 3.5 percent) and made up nearly double the number in terms of part-time work (30 percent versus 16 percent). “Unemployed,” in contrast to “jobless,” describes a person actively seeking work within four weeks prior to the survey. Jobless individuals not actively looking for work made up almost eight in ten of those with disabilities. Even though disabilities are more prevalent among older adults, the high proportion of jobless individuals holds true in all age groups. “Among persons with a disability, the jobless rates for Blacks (12.3 percent) and Hispanics (9.6 percent) were higher than the rates for Whites (6.6 percent) and Asians (6.8 percent.)” Individuals with a bachelor’s degree or higher were more likely to be employed than the less educated, but marked disparities in employment in comparison with those without disabilities exist in all education groups. You can find much more detailed statistics in the ODEP press release on labor force characteristics for people with disabilities in 2022.

Youth employment Webinar, March 13, 2023

Groups like the Center on Advancing Policy on Employment for Youth (CAPE-Youth) are working within communities with disabilities to combat the employment disparities discussed in the ODEP survey. On March 13, 2023 from 2 to 3 pm ET, CAPE is hosting a Zoom webinar on navigation and use of its new website. Designed for counselors from state agencies and similar professionals, the presentation will highlight the main areas of the site and will provide recommendations on how best to use CAPE-Youth’s site and services to assist teens and young adults with vision loss in learning about and gaining employment. Here is the link to register for the webinar.