Labor force characteristics of persons with a disability in 2012

June 18, 2013

In 2012, the employment-population ratio of persons with a disability was 17.8 percent. In contrast, 63.9 percent of persons without a disability were employed. The employment-population ratio for persons with a disability was unchanged from 2011 to 2012, while the ratio for persons without a disability increased.

Employment-population ratio by disability status, age, sex, race, and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity, 2012 annual averages
CharacteristicPersons with a disabilityPersons with no disability

Total, 16 years and over

17.863.9

  16 to 64 years

27.070.4

  65 years and older

6.921.9

  Men

21.469.7

  Women

14.858.4

  White

18.564.9

  Black or African American

13.558.7

  Asian

15.662.7

  Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

16.263.1

For all age groups, the employment-population ratio was much lower for persons with a disability than for those with no disability. The lower ratio among persons with a disability is due, in part, to the fact that a large share of the population of persons with a disability was age 65 and older, and older persons are less likely to be employed.

Among persons age 65 and over with a disability, the employment-population ratio rose to 6.9 percent in 2012, while the ratio for persons ages 16 to 64 with a disability held at 27.0 percent.

The unemployment rate for persons with a disability was 13.4 percent in 2012, higher than the rate for persons with no disability (7.9 percent).

Unemployment rate by disability status, age, sex, race, and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity, 2012 annual averages
CharacteristicPersons with a disabilityPersons with no disability

Total, 16 years and over

13.47.9

  16 to 64 years

14.67.9

  65 years and older

7.46.1

  Men

13.28.0

  Woman

13.77.7

  White

12.37.0

  Black or African American

20.813.6

  Asian

11.85.8

  Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

19.010.1

In 2012, the unemployment rate for men with a disability (13.2 percent) was about the same as the rate for women (13.7 percent). As is the case among those without a disability, the unemployment rates in 2012 for those with a disability were higher among blacks (20.8 percent) and Hispanics (19.0 percent) than among whites (12.3 percent) and Asians (11.8 percent).

These data are from the Current Population Survey (CPS). To learn more, see "Persons With a Disability: Labor Force Characteristics — 2012" (HTML) (PDF), news release USDL-13-1141. The data on persons with a disability are collected as part of the CPS monthly sample survey of about 60,000 households that provides statistics on employment and unemployment in the United States. The employment-population ratio represents the proportion of the civilian noninstitutional population aged 16 years and over that is employed. Unemployed persons are those who did not have a job, were available for work, and were actively looking for a job in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. The unemployment rate is the number of unemployed persons as a percent of the civilian labor force (the employed plus the unemployed). Persons whose ethnicity is identified as Hispanic or Latino may be of any race.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Editor's Desk, Labor force characteristics of persons with a disability in 2012 on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2013/ted_20130618.htm (visited April 21, 2014).

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