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March 3, 2009
February labor force data published by the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics include for the first time information on employment and unemployment rates for people with disabilities.
In January 2009, the national unemployment rate of persons with a disability was 13.2. Only 20 percent of persons with disabilities over the age of 16 were employed at that time, compared with an employment rate of 65 percent for persons without a disability in the same age bracket.
Although it has always been assumed that people with disabilities had higher rates of unemployment than the rest of the working age population, the new numbers provide a benchmark to track progress in the future.
For more information, visit the Current Population Survey Monthly Data Series on the Employment Status of People with a Disability.