Related BLS programs | Related articles
September 1998, Vol. 121, No. 9
Douglas L. Kruse
Employment of persons with disabilities is a key concern of a number of existing and proposed programs and policies, as well as the focus of substantial current research.1 While the article by Thomas W. Hale, Howard V. Hayghe, and John M. McNeil (pages 312 in this issue) examines employment patterns and other characteristics by disability status, this article analyzes demographic, income, and health care characteristics of working-age persons (aged 15 to 64) with and without disabilities.2 Such characteristics may provide insights into the potential barriers to employment faced by persons with disabilities (related to their level of education, for example); they also may help explain the role of employment in personal and household income, poverty status, and access to health insurance.
Hale and his co-authors show that persons with disabilities, particularly those with severe disabilities, have both lower employment rates and lower earnings than do those without disabilities.3 As will be seen, persons with disabilities differ in other characteristics as wellsome of which stem from their labor market difficulties, and others that actually contribute to such difficulties. In particular, persons with disabilities are more likely to live in poverty because income from disability benefits and other nonemployment income generally do not make up for the lack of employment income. Also, nonemployed persons with disabilities visit doctors and stay overnight in hospitals more frequently than other persons; thus, their problems in the labor market may be partly attributable to their health problems.
These and other outcomes are examined separately by demographic group to explore which segments of the working-age population with disabilities face the greatest difficulties. Like the study by Hale and others, this article uses data from the Bureau of the Census Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), but for the 199394 wave.4 It compares persons with and without disabilities, as well as those with severe and nonsevere disabilities within the disability population.
This excerpt is from an article published in the September 1998 issue of the Monthly Labor Review. The full text of the article is available in Adobe Acrobat's Portable Document Format (PDF). See How to view a PDF file for more information.
Read abstract Download full text in PDF (65K)
1 See, for example, Jane West, ed. Implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act (Cambridge, MA, Blackwell Publishers, 1996); and Jerry L. Mashaw, Virginia Reno, Richard Burkhauser, and Monroe Berkowitz, eds. Disability, Work, and Cash Benefits (Kalamazoo, MI, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, 1996).
2 This article draws from the material presented in Douglas L. Kruse, Disability and Employment: Characteristics of Employed and Non-employed People with Disabilities, Report to the Office of Policy, U.S Department of Labor, September 1997.
3 The "employment rate" is the proportion of a given population that is employed.
4 The Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), a household survey sponsored by the Bureau of the Census, is designed to help meet the statistical needs of many Federal agencies. SIPP collects core data on employment, income, and participation in certain Federal Government programs. The data used in this study were collected between October 1994 and January 1995. For more information on SIPP, see Thomas W. Hale, Howard V. Hayghe, and John M. McNeil, "Labor market activity of persons with disabilities, 199495," Monthly Labor Review, September 1998, pp. ___, footnote 1 and references cited there, including the SIPP page (http://www.sipp.census.gov/sipp/) at the official Bureau of the Census website (http://www.census.gov/).
Related BLS programs
BLS does not have any programs that directly relate to the topic of this article.
Within Monthly Labor Review Online:
Welcome | Current Issue | Index | Subscribe | Archives
Exit Monthly Labor Review Online:
BLS Home | Publications & Research Papers