The May jobs report released this morning was guardedly positive, with non-farm payrolls adding 217,000 jobs and unemployment remaining roughly flat. But the employment market is very different for people with disabilities, and this fact was underlined by a new report from the Kessler Foundation and the University of New Hampshire’s Institute on Disability.
The just-released National Trends in Disability Employment – Monthly Update (nTIDE) shows that the employment gap between people with disabilities and people without disabilities continues to grow. In the words of Kessler Foundation Director of Employment and Disability Research John O’Neill, “This morning’s report shows mixed results for the overall economy but people with disabilities continue to be left out of the recovery.”
One key labor market indicator is the labor force participation rate; those considered to be participating either have a job or are actively looking for work. The labor force participation rate for people with disabilities was just 30.1% in May, down 2.2 percentage points since May 2013. Labor force participation by people without disabilities was 76.2%.
Another key gauge is the employment to population ratio, which measures the proportion of the working-age population that is employed. For people with disabilities, that ratio was just 25.8% in May. For people without disabilities, the ratio was 71.7%.
Statistics like these are a powerful demonstration of why we need a multi-sector approach to employing people with disabilities, and that we need to work on the solution now. Many organizations around the nation are making great strides in the employment of people with disabilities, but we need to collectively have a greater impact.
That’s why we’re scaling our model with the establishment of PurposeSTAFF, a national staffing network to help people with disabilities and other barriers to employment get jobs. With organizations around the country working together, we can truly make great progress in closing the gap between employment of people with disabilities and people without disabilities.
Interested in learning more about DePaul’s model and expansion? Leave us a comment below, or contact us directly.