East Hanover, NJ – December 3, 2021 – November marked the fourth consecutive month of employment gains for people with disabilities, 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 four-month increase is in stark contrast to the declining trend for people without disabilities.
nTIDE COVID Update (month-to-month comparison)
In the BLS Jobs Report released Friday, the employment-to-population ratio for working-age people with disabilities increased from 33.2 percent in October 2021 to 34.6 percent in November 2021 (up 4.2 percent or 1.4 percentage points). For working-age people without disabilities, the employment-to-population ratio also increased from 73.5 percent in October 2021 to 73.8 percent in November 2021 (up 0.4 percent or 0.3 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).
“Once again, we are seeing the employment-to-population ratio exceed the historic high points for people with disabilities,” said John O’Neill, PhD, director of the Center for Employment and Disability Research at Kessler Foundation. “Specifically, the November employment-to population-ratio is not only higher than it was before the Covid-19 pandemic but exceeds the all-time recorded high of the fall of 2008.”
The labor force participation rate for working-age people with disabilities increased from 36.8 percent in October to 37.7 percent in November 2021 (up 2.4 percent or 0.9 percentage points). For working-age people without disabilities, the labor force participation rate also increased from 76.6 percent in October to 76.7 percent in November 2021 (up 0.1 percent or 0.1 percentage points). The labor force participation rate is the percentage of the population that is working, not working and on temporary layoff, or not working and actively looking for work.
“Seeing both of these indicators—the employment-to-population ratio and labor force participation rate—improving beyond their historic highs, is really positive,” remarked Andrew Houtenville, PhD, professor of economics and the research director of the University of New Hampshire’s Institute on Disability. “These gains suggest that the restructuring resulting from the pandemic may be benefiting people with disabilities. Ironically, it may have taken a pandemic to shake the labor market loose for people with disabilities.”
Year-to-Year nTIDE Numbers (comparison to the same time last year)
The employment-to-population ratio for working-age people with disabilities increased from 29.1 percent in November 2020 to 34.6 percent in November 2021 (up 18.9 percent or 5.5 percentage points). For working-age people without disabilities, the employment-to-population ratio also increased from 71.1 percent in November 2020 to 73.8 percent in November 2021 (up 3.8 percent or 2.7 percentage points).
The labor force participation rate for working-age people with disabilities increased from 33.6 percent in November 2020 to 37.7 percent in November 2021 (up 12.2 percent or 4.1 percentage points). For working-age people without disabilities, the labor force participation rate also increased from 75.9 percent in November 2020 to 76.7 percent in November 2021 (up 1.1 percent or 0.8 percentage points).
In November 2021, among workers ages 16-64, the 5,542,000 workers with disabilities represented 3.8 percent of the total 145,167,000 workers in the U.S.
Ask Questions about Disability and Employment
Each nTIDE release is followed by a Lunch & Learn webinar at 12:00 pm ET. Join our nTIDE Lunch & Learn series today, December 3, at 12:00 pm Eastern. This live broadcast, hosted via Zoom Webinar, offers attendees Q&A on the latest nTIDE findings, provides news and updates from the field, as well as invited panelists to discuss current disability-related findings and events. Today, Julie Christensen, executive director of the Association of People Supporting Employment First (APSE) joins Drs. Houtenville and O’Neill, and Denise Rozell, Policy Strategist at AUCD. Join live or watch the recordings at: ResearchonDisability.org/nTIDE.
nTIDE COVID Update
Our mid-month update about the employment of people with disabilities will be on break in December. Join us January 7, 2022, as we follow the impact of COVID-19 and look at the numbers in more detail.
NOTE: The statistics in the nTIDE are based on Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers but are not identical. They are customized by UNH to combine the statistics for men and women of working age (16 to 64). nTIDE is funded, in part, by grants from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) (90RT5037) and Kessler Foundation.
About Kessler Foundation
Kessler Foundation, a major nonprofit organization in the field of disability, is a global leader in rehabilitation research that seeks to improve cognition, mobility, and long-term outcomes -- including employment -- for people with neurological disabilities caused by diseases and injuries of the brain and spinal cord. Kessler Foundation leads the nation in funding innovative programs that expand opportunities for employment for people with disabilities. For more information, visit KesslerFoundation.org.
About the Institute on Disability at the University of New Hampshire
The Institute on Disability (IOD) at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) was established in 1987 to provide a coherent university-based focus for the improvement of knowledge, policies, and practices related to the lives of persons with disabilities and their families. For information on the NIDILRR-funded Employment Policy and Measurement Rehabilitation Research and Training Center, visit ResearchOnDisability.org.
For more information, or to interview an expert, contact:
Carolann Murphy, 973.324.8382, CMurphy@KesslerFoundation.org.
Title: nTIDE Month-to-Month Employment Numbers for People with and without Disabilities
Caption: This graphic compares the economic indicators for October 2021 and November 2021, showing substantial increases for people with disabilities and minimal changes for people without disabilities.
Title: nTIDE Year-to-Year Comparison of Economic Indicators for People with and Without Disabilities
Caption: This graphic compares the economic indicators for October 2020 and November 2021, showing increases for people with and without disabilities.
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