NDEAM and the State of Employment for People with Disabilities

This year’s National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) culminated in a hybrid celebration, with both virtual and in-person events in communities across the U.S. We highlighted some of the virtual activities in bulletins earlier this month. Reader’s Digest Partners for Sight Foundation (RDPFS) was represented at some of the in-person events in the New York Metropolitan area, including those held by The Long Island Working Partnership, the New York City Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD), and VISIONS Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired. As we approach the end of this year’s NDEAM, we reviewed some of the latest statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Disabilities Employment Policy (ODEP) on employment among people with disabilities and found a positive trend in some categories. The labor force participation rate, for example, among persons with a disability in September 2021, 22.3 percent, represented an increase from September 2019’s 19.3 percent. The employment-population rate, which includes unemployed people not seeking work as well as those who are, rose to 20.3 percent in September 2021 from 19.3 percent during the same period in 2019. The unemployment rate, at 9 percent in September 2021, was higher than that time period in 2019 (6.1 percent), though improved from 2020’s rate of 17.9 percent, reflecting the impact of COVID-19. For more details, check out ODEP’s Disability Employment Statistics. To delve into more of the data, you can retrieve historical statistics by checking out the Employment status of the civilian population by sex, age, and disability status.