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17.9 percent of people with a disability employed in 2020

March 02, 2021

The employment–population ratio—that is, the percentage of the population that is employed—for people with a disability was 17.9 percent in 2020, a decrease from 19.3 percent in 2019. The ratio for people without a disability was 61.8 percent in 2020, down from 66.3 percent in the prior year. Data for 2020 reflect the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic and efforts to contain it.

Employment–population ratio by disability status and age, 2020
Age People with a disability People without a disability

Total, 16 years and over

17.9% 61.8%

16 to 19 years

17.3 28.9

20 to 24 years

34.9 60.9

25 to 34 years

39.1 76.3

35 to 44 years

36.7 79.1

45 to 54 years

30.0 79.4

55 to 64 years

22.8 66.4

65 years and over

6.9 22.2

The lower employment–population ratio among people with a disability reflects, in part, the older age profile of people with a disability; older workers are less likely to be employed regardless of disability status. However, across all age groups, people with a disability were much less likely to be employed than those with no disability.

Among people with a disability, the employment–population ratio was highest for those ages 25 to 34, at 39.1 percent. The ratio for those ages 35 to 44 was 36.7 percent, and the ratio then decreased for each older age group. For those age 65 and older, the employment–population ratio for people with a disability (6.9 percent) was about one-third the rate of those without a disability (22.2 percent). By comparison, the employment–population ratio for those with no disability was highest for those 45 to 54 years old, and then decreased as age increased as well.

These data are from the Current Population Survey. Data are for people in the civilian noninstitutional population age 16 and older. To learn more, see "Persons With A Disability: Labor Force Characteristics — 2020."


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, 17.9 percent of people with a disability employed in 2020 at (visited May 29, 2024).

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