By Tammy Binford
Government statistics show that unemployment among people with disabilities is far higher than unemployment for people without disabilities. Year-end figures for 2011 are not yet available, but the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has figures revealing that the 2010 unemployment rate for people with disabilities was 14.8 percent. That’s more than one and a half times higher than the rate for people without disabilities, which was 9.4 percent.
What may be more startling than the unemployment rate is the number of people with disabilities who aren’t even in the labor force at all. According to data published in December by the BLS, 79.2 percent of working-age individuals with disabilities are outside the labor force, compared to 30.5 percent of those without disabilities.
Now the federal government is trying to take steps to narrow the employment gap between those with and without disabilities by proposing that federal contractors and subcontractors set a hiring goal of having seven percent of their workforces be made up of people with disabilities. read more…