Almost 60% of people with a disability age 25 and older had a high school education or less in 2013

October 10, 2014

Each October, National Disability Employment Awareness Month raises awareness of disability employment issues. In 1945, Congress declared the first week in October "National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week." In 1962, the word "physically" was removed to acknowledge all disabilities. In 1988, the observance was expanded to a month and name changed to what it is today. This edition of TED looks at educational attainment and employment among people with a disability.

In 2013, almost 60 percent of people age 25 and older with a disability had a high school diploma or less education. Among people without a disability, 61 percent had attained come college or had earned a college degree.

Percent distribution of people age 25 and older with or without a disability, 2013 annual averages
Educational attainment Persons with a disability Persons with no disability

Less than a high school diploma

21.9% 10.3%

High school graduates, no college(1)

36.8 28.9

Some college or associate degree

25.2 26.8

Bachelor's degree and higher(2)

16.2 34.0
Footnotes:

(1) Includes persons with a high school diploma or equivalent

(2) Includes persons with a bachelor's, master's, professional, and doctoral degree

The proportion of people with a disability in 2013 who did not graduate from high school, about 22 percent, was more than twice that of people without a disability.

In 2013, labor force participation rates were higher among people with greater educational attainment regardless of disability status. People with a disability had lower labor force participation rates at all levels of educational attainment than did people with no disability.

Labor force participation rate of people with or without a disability, age 25 and older, by educational attainment, 2013 annual averages
Educational attainment Persons with a disability Persons with no disability

Less than a high school diploma

9.3% 56.6%

High school graduates, no college(1)

17.2 66.7

Some college or associate degree

24.8 73.9

Bachelor's degree and higher(2)

30.5 78.7
Footnotes:

(1) Includes persons with a high school diploma or equivalent

(2) Includes persons with a bachelor's, master's, professional, and doctoral degree

The labor force participation rate of people with a disability in 2013 was lowest for those with less than a high school diploma (9.3 percent), compared with 56.6 percent of those without a disability. The labor force participation rate among people with a disability was highest for those who held a bachelor's degree and higher (30.5 percent), compared with 78.7 percent for those without a disability.

These data are from the Current Population Survey program. To learn more, see "Persons with a Disability: Labor Force Characteristics — 2013" (HTML) (PDF), news release USDL-14-1076. The Current Population Survey does not include people in the military or those in institutions.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Almost 60% of people with a disability age 25 and older had a high school education or less in 2013 on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2014/ted_20141010.htm (visited December 14, 2017).

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