Credible, consistent data is critical to creating change. ODEP promotes the availability and use of disability data and statistics to further education, research, and policy initiatives to improve employment opportunities and outcomes for people with disabilities.

This work was first revealed in 2008, when after several years of research and testing, new questions were added to the monthly Current Population Survey (CPS) to gauge the employment status of people with disabilities. The questions, which were originally developed for use in the American Community Survey (ACS), were added after extensive collaboration between ODEP, DOL's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and other stakeholders, and were sponsored by ODEP. Prior to this, there was no way to measure the labor force status of people with disabilities on a regular basis. Today, these data are updated monthly, providing citizens and policymakers with reliable and accurate information on a topic of importance to America's workforce and economy.

Disability Labor Force Statistics

These statistics are obtained directly from BLS publication of monthly aggregate series derived from the Current Population Survey (CPS) and are not seasonally-adjusted. Annual averages are calculated over the 12 months of that calendar year, and 12-month moving averages (12m MAs) are calculated ending in the latest month for which data is available. The age range 16-64 is commonly considered to be the “working-age population”, while the age range 16 and older is the entire age range for which the CPS reports labor force data.

Persons with Disability

Time Period Oct. 20 Oct. 20 2019 2019 12m MA 12m MA
Age Range 16-64 16+ 16-64 16+ 16-64 16+
Labor Force Participation Rate 33.3% 20.6% 33.6% 20.8% 33.6% 20.5%
Employment-Population Ratio 29.2% 18.3% 30.9% 19.3% 29.4% 18.1%
Unemployment Rate 12.2% 11.1% 8.0% 7.3% 12.5% 11.7%

 

Persons without Disability

Time Period Oct. 20 Oct. 20 2019 2019 12m MA 12m MA
Age Range 16-64 16+ 16-64 16+ 16-64 16+
Labor Force Participation Rate 76.2% 67.0% 77.3% 68.7% 76.3% 67.5%
Employment-Population Ratio 71.3% 62.7% 74.6% 66.3% 70.7% 62.5%
Unemployment Rate 6.5% 6.4% 3.6% 3.5% 7.4% 7.4%

Source: Current Population Survey, Bureau of Labor Statistics

Definitions:

  • Labor Force Participation Rate: Equal to the labor force (sum of employed and unemployed) divided by the entire population (civilian, non-institutionalized).
  • Employment-Population Ratio: Equal to the employed divided by the entire population (civilian, non-institutionalized).
  • Unemployment Rate: Equal to the unemployed divided by the labor force (sum of employed and unemployed).

Monthly Youth Labor Force Participation Rate and Unemployment Rate

October 2020

Youth Labor Force Participation Rate

Age Disability No Disability
Age 16 to 19 21.5% 35.4%
Age 20 to 24 49.0% 71.6%

 

Youth Unemployment Rate

Age Disability No Disability
Age 16 to 19 32.8% 12.6%
Age 20 to 24 21.3% 10.2%

Generated using unpublished data obtained from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Table 1. Labor force status of the civilian noninstitutional population by sex, race, Hispanic or Latino ethnicity, age, and disability status, September 2020 (Source: Current Population Survey)


General Disability Employment Statistics Resources

Other Resources

Commonly Used Terms

  • People with jobs are employed.
  • People who are jobless, looking for jobs, and available for work are unemployed.
  • People who are employed or unemployed but looking for jobs and available for work are in the labor force.
  • People who are neither employed nor unemployed are not in the labor force.
  • Labor force measures are based on the civilian, non-institutional population 16 years old and over.