National Trends in Disability Employment (nTIDE) – Issued semi-monthly by Kessler Foundation and the University of New Hampshire
East Hanover, NJ – February 3, 2023 – More jobseekers with disabilities entered the labor market in January, providing a potential resource for the current boom in job openings, 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). Declines in the employment-to-population ratios for people with and without disabilities may reflect the impact of the Federal Reserve’s efforts to curtail inflation and/or seasonal effects.
Month-to-Month nTIDE Numbers (comparing December 2022 to January 2023)
Based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Jobs Report released today, the labor force participation rate for people with disabilities (ages 16-64) increased from 39.0 percent in December 2022 to 39.6 percent in January 2023 (up 1.5 percent or 0.6 percentage points). For people without disabilities (ages 16-64), the labor force participation rate decreased slightly from 76.9 percent in December 2022 to 76.8 percent in January 2023 (down 0.1 percent or 0.1 percentage points).
“More people with disabilities are striving to work, as indicated by January’s rise in their labor force participation rate. Also, the news is filled with reports that employers have dramatically increased the number of available jobs,” remarked Andrew Houtenville, PhD, professor of economics and research director of the UNH-IOD. “Next month, we will see whether these trends lead to increased employment for people with disabilities,” he added.
January 2023 saw declines in employment-to-population rates. For people with disabilities (ages 16-64) the employment-to-population ratio decreased from 37.0 percent in December 2022 to 36.7 percent in January 2023 (down 0.8 percent or 0.3 percentage points). Similarly, the employment-to-population ratio of people without disabilities (ages 16-64) decreased from 74.4 percent in December 2022 to 73.9 percent in January 2023 (down 0.7 percent or 0.5 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).
“Contrary to the upward trends seen in the past few months, the employment-to-population ratio for people with disabilities fell in January,” said John O’Neill, PhD, director of the Center for Employment and Disability Research at Kessler Foundation. “Considering that this downward trend was also true for people without disabilities, we may be seeing the impact of the Federal Reserve’s efforts to curb inflation by slowing economic growth and/or a decline in seasonal employment,” he noted.
Year-to-Year nTIDE Numbers (Comparing January 2022 to January 2023)
The employment-to-population ratio for working-age people with disabilities increased from 33.8 percent in January 2022 to 36.7 percent in January 2023 (up 8.6 percent or 2.9 percentage points). For working-age people without disabilities, the employment-to-population ratio also increased from 73.1 percent in January 2022 to 73.9 percent in January 2023 (up 1.1 percent or 0.8 percentage points).
Similarly, for people with disabilities (16-64), the labor force participation rate increased from 37.5 percent in January 2022 to 39.6 percent in January 2023 (up 5.6 percent or 2.1 percentage points). For people without disabilities (ages 16-64), the labor force participation rate also increased from 76.4 percent in January 2022 to 76.8 percent in January 2023 (up 0.5 percent or 0.4 percentage points).
In January 2023 among workers ages 16-64, the 5,939,000 workers with disabilities represented 4.0 percent of the total 148,027,000 workers in the U.S.
Ask Questions about Disability and Employment
Each nTIDE release is followed by an nTIDE Lunch & Learn online webinar. This live broadcast, hosted via Zoom Webinar, offers attendees Q&A on the latest nTIDE findings, provides news and updates from the field, and features invited panelists who discuss current disability-related findings and events. On February 3, 2023, at 12:00 pm Eastern, Jennifer Mathis, JD, Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, joins Drs. O’Neill and Houtenville, and Denise Rozell, Policy Strategist at the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD). Join our Lunch & Learns live or visit the nTIDE archives at: ResearchonDisability.org/nTIDE.
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 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 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 Research and Training Center on Disability Statistics, visit ResearchOnDisability.org.
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.
ICYMI: Kessler Foundation’s latest employment survey compares the workplaces of 2017 and 2022, revealing gains in recruiting, hiring, accommodating, and retaining employees with disabilities. Learn more: 2022 National Employment & Disability Survey: Effects of COVID-19 Pandemic Supervisor Perspectives.