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Economic News Release
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Persons with a Disability: Labor Force Characteristics Summary

For release 10:00 a.m. (EST) Tuesday, February 26, 2019 		USDL-19-0326

Technical information:	(202) 691-6378  *  cpsinfo@bls.gov  *  www.bls.gov/cps
Media contact:	        (202) 691-5902  *  PressOffice@bls.gov


  PERSONS WITH A DISABILITY: LABOR FORCE CHARACTERISTICS -- 2018


In 2018, the employment-population ratio--the proportion of the
population that is employed--was 19.1 percent among those with a
disability, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. In
contrast, the employment-population ratio for those without a disability
was 65.9 percent. The employment-population ratio for persons with
a disability increased from 2017 to 2018, and the ratio for persons
without a disability edged up. The unemployment rate for both persons
with and without a disability declined from the previous year to 8.0
percent and 3.7 percent, respectively.

The data on persons with a disability are collected as part of 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. The collection of data on persons with a disability is sponsored
by the Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy. For
more information, see the Technical Note in this news release.

Highlights from the 2018 data:

 --Nearly half of all persons with a disability were age 65 and
   older, about three times larger than the share of those with
   no disability. (See table 1.)

 --Across all age groups, the employment-population ratios were
   much lower for persons with a disability than for those with
   no disability. (See table 1.)

 --Across all educational attainment groups, jobless rates for
   persons with a disability were higher than those for persons
   without a disability. (See table 1.)

 --In 2018, 31 percent of workers with a disability were employed
   part time, compared with 17 percent for those with no disability.
   (See table 2.)

 --Employed persons with a disability were more likely to be
   self-employed than those with no disability. (See table 4.)

Demographic characteristics

Persons with a disability tend to be older than persons with no disability,
reflecting the increased incidence of disability with age. In 2018, 49
percent of persons with a disability were age 65 and older, compared with
16 percent of those with no disability. Overall, women were somewhat more
likely to have a disability than men, partly reflecting the greater life
expectancy of women. In 2018, the prevalence of disability continued to
be higher for Blacks and Whites than for Hispanics and Asians. (See table 1.)

Employment

The employment-population ratio for persons with a disability increased
from 18.7 percent in 2017 to 19.1 percent in 2018. The ratio for those
without a disability, at 65.9 percent, edged up in 2018. The lower ratio
among persons with a disability reflects, in part, the older age profile
of persons with a disability; older workers are less likely to be employed
regardless of disability status. However, across all age groups, persons
with a disability were much less likely to be employed than those with no
disability. (See tables A and 1.)

Among persons ages 16 to 64, employment-population ratios rose for both
persons with a disability (30.4 percent) and persons without a disability
(74.0 percent) in 2018. The ratios for persons age 65 and older with a
disability (7.4 percent) and without a disability (23.6 percent) were
little changed from the previous year. (See table A.)

Persons with a disability are less likely to have completed a bachelor's
degree or higher than those with no disability. Among both groups, those
who had attained higher levels of education were more likely to be employed
than those who had attained less education. Across all levels of education
in 2018, persons with a disability were much less likely to be employed
than were their counterparts with no disability. (Educational attainment
data are presented for those age 25 and older.) (See table 1.)

Workers with a disability were more likely to be employed part time than
those with no disability. In 2018, 31 percent of workers with a disability
usually worked part time, compared with 17 percent of those without a
disability. The proportion of workers with a disability who worked part
time for economic reasons was slightly higher than their counterparts without
a disability (4 percent, compared with 3 percent). These individuals were
working part time because their hours had been reduced or because they were
not able to find a full-time job. (See table 2.)

In 2018, persons with a disability were more concentrated in service
occupations than those with no disability (19.0 percent, compared with 17.2
percent). Workers with a disability were also more likely than those with
no disability to work in production, transportation, and material moving
occupations (13.9 percent, compared with 11.8 percent). Persons with a
disability were less likely to work in management, professional, and related
occupations than those without a disability (33.7 percent, compared with
40.3 percent). (See table 3.)

The proportion of persons employed in government was slightly higher for
persons with a disability than for persons without a disability in 2018
(14.1 percent, compared with 13.4 percent, respectively). A larger share of
persons with a disability were self-employed than were those with no disability
(10.2 percent, compared with 6.1 percent); a smaller share of workers with a
disability were employed as private wage and salary workers (75.5 percent)
than those with no disability (80.4 percent). (See table 4.)

Unemployment

The unemployment rate for persons with a disability was 8.0 percent in 2018,
more than twice the rate of those with no disability (3.7 percent). (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
rates for both persons with and without a disability were lower in 2018 than
in the prior year. (See tables A and 1.)

In 2018, the unemployment rate for men with a disability (7.9 percent) was
about the same as the rate for women (8.1 percent). The unemployment rates
for both men and women declined from 2017 to 2018. Jobless rates declined
among Whites and Blacks with a disability in 2018, while the rates for Hispanics
and Asians showed little change. For persons with a disability, Blacks (11.2
percent) and Hispanics (9.8 percent) had higher unemployment rates than Whites
(7.3 percent), and Asians (7.1 percent) in 2018. (See table 1.)

Not in the labor force

Persons who are neither employed nor unemployed are not in the labor force. A
large proportion of persons with a disability--about 8 in 10--were not in the
labor force in 2018, compared with about 3 in 10 of those with no disability.
In part, this reflects the older age profile of persons with a disability;
persons age 65 and older are much less likely to participate in the labor force
than younger age groups. Across all age groups, however, persons with a disability
were more likely to be out of the labor force than those with no disability. (See
table 1.)

For persons with and without a disability, the vast majority of those not in the
labor force reported that they do not want a job. In 2018, 3 percent of those with
a disability and 6 percent of those without a disability wanted a job. Among those
who do want a job, a subset is classified as marginally attached to the labor
force. These individuals wanted and were available to work, and had looked for a
job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because
they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. (Persons
marginally attached to the labor force include discouraged workers.) About 1
percent of persons with a disability and 2 percent of persons without a disability
were marginally attached to the labor force in 2018. (See table 5.)



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Last Modified Date: February 26, 2019