nTIDE August 2022 COVID Update: Unemployment stable at pre-pandemic levels for people with disabilities

National Trends in Disability Employment (nTIDE) – issued semi-monthly by Kessler Foundation and the University of New Hampshire

East Hanover, NJ. September 26, 2022. August marked the fourth consecutive month of stable unemployment numbers for people with disabilities, according to today’s National Trends in Disability Employment (nTIDE) COVID Update. August unemployment held steady at near pre-pandemic levels, showing little change in the numbers of people with and without disabilities on temporary layoff or looking for work.

These August COVID Update data are consistent with the employment and labor force participation statistics reported in this month’s September 2 nTIDE release, according to Andrew Houtenville, PhD, professor of economics at the University of Hampshire (UNH) and research director of the UNH Institute on Disability.

“For people with disabilities we are back to the same picture we saw in March 2020, just prior to the national lockdown precipitated by the sudden onset of the COVID-19 pandemic,” commented Dr. Houtenville, referring to the latest nTIDE mountain graph. “While the current picture is a positive one, challenges are on the horizon as the Federal Reserve grapples with inflation numbers not seen since the early 1980s” he noted.

“With five interest rate hikes so far this year, and the likelihood of two more to come, we need to anticipate an impact on the labor market down the road,” he advised. “Successful reining in of inflation means slower growth – that may eventually prompt some employers to cut back on hiring, resulting in tightening of the labor market and rising unemployment. As Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell cautioned in a national press conference last week, we need to ‘Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst’.”


graph bar stats for employment for people with disabilities
Caption: These graphics compare the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic of people with and without disabilities, capturing pre-pandemic and current unemployment data from January 2020 to August 2022. August numbers showed little movement in unemployment for people with disabilities and people without disabilities.



Monitoring the National Trends in Disability Employment will help us track the impact of these economic shifts on people with disabilities. Register now for our upcoming nTIDE webinar scheduled for October 21, 2022*: nTIDE Lunch & Learn Webinar Series | Center for Research on Disability

IMPORTANT! Note changes for October 7 & 21 nTIDEs:

On October 7, we will issue our usual nTIDE release, but there will be no Lunch & Learn Webinar.

*On October 21, New Survey Findings will be announced during the noon ET Lunch & Learn Webinar 

The 2022 Kessler Foundation National Employment and Disability Survey: Supervisor Perspectives offers new insights into the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the actions and attitudes of supervisors of employees with disabilities.

Following an introduction by Rodger DeRose, Kessler Foundation president and CEO, Elaine E. Katz, MS, CCC-SLP, of Kessler Foundation will moderate discussion of the 2022 Survey findings by Andrew Houtenville, PhD, and Debra Brucker, PhD, from UNH, John O’Neill, PhD, from Kessler Foundation, and Wendi Safstrom, president of SHRM Foundation.

About nTIDE Updates

National Trends in Disability Employment (nTIDE), is a joint project of Kessler Foundation and the University of New Hampshire (UNH) Institute on Disability, co-authored by Andrew Houtenville, PhD, from the UNH Institute on Disability and John O'Neill, PhD, of Kessler Foundation. The nTIDE team closely monitors the job numbers, issuing semi-monthly nTIDE reports, as the labor market continues to reflect the many challenges of the pandemic. Since 2013, a monthly nTIDE has been issued in conjunction with the first Friday Jobs Report issued by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In April 2020, restrictions on economic activity in the U.S. due to the COVID-19 pandemic precipitated an unprecedented rise in furloughs and people looking for work, prompting the addition of this mid-month nTIDE COVID Update. The mid-month nTIDE follows two key unemployment indicators – furloughs, or temporary layoffs, and the number of people looking for work, comparing trends for people with and without disabilities.

Funding: Kessler Foundation and the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) (90RT5037).

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.

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.

Interested in interviewing an expert on nTIDE or our new survey?

For more information, contact:
Deb Hauss, [email protected]
Carolann Murphy, [email protected]

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