Economic recovery extends to 18 months for Americans with disabilities

by | Oct 6, 2017 | Work Related Injuries | 0 comments

Economic recovery extends to 18 months for Americans with disabilities
US job numbers for September 2017 show gains for both people with and without disabilities, withe relatively greater gains for people with disabilities. Credit: Kessler Foundation.

Americans with disabilities continue to close in on pre-recession employment levels with yet another month of strong job numbers, according to today's National Trends in Disability Employment - Monthly Update (nTIDE), issued by Kessler Foundation and the University of New Hampshire's Institute on Disability (UNH-IOD). This extends the record trend to 18 consecutive months for this population.

The process of recovering from disabling injuries often hinders people of working age from returning to work. Many inpatient rehabilitation facilities do not offer employment-oriented services, and after discharge, these services are fragmented or nonexistent. To help individuals stay in the workplace, researchers are looking at the impact of incorporating access to vocational counseling and resources into the medical rehabilitation process.

In the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Jobs Report released Friday, October 6 , the employment-to-population ratio for working-age people with disabilities increased from 28.0 percent in September 2016 to 30.4 percent in September 2017 (up 8.6 percent; 2.4 percentage points). For working-age people without disabilities, the employment-to-population ratio also increased from 73.0 percent in September 2016 to 73.8 percent in September 2017 (up 1.1 percent; 0.8 percentage points). The employment-to-population ratio, a key indicator, reflects the percentage of people who are working relative to the total population (the number of people working divided by the number of people in the total population multiplied by 100).

"In spite of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey, which were predicted to slow job growth, the proportion of people with disabilities working continued to improve for the eighteenth consecutive month," according to John O'Neill, PhD, director of employment and disability research at Kessler Foundation. "This growth is positive,...

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