Press Release Kessler Foundation

nTIDE July 2022 COVID Update: Employment for people with disabilities remains steady


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

East Hanover, NJ. August 19, 2022. Employment continues to remain solid and steady in July for people with disabilities, according to today’s National Trends in Disability Employment (nTIDE) COVID Update. July numbers showed a slight decrease in unemployment for people with disabilities and people without disabilities.

“Over the past three months with unemployment hovering slightly above pre-pandemic levels, we seem to be stabilizing around a better picture for people with disabilities,” noted Andrew Houtenville, PhD, professor of economics at the University of Hampshire (UNH) and research director of the UNH Institute on Disability. “The level of unemployed people with disabilities is returning to baseline, pre-pandemic levels,” Dr. Houtenville said. “Our COVID Update data is consistent with what we saw in employment and labor force participation statistics detailed in this month’s prior nTIDE report,” he added.

“We’re waiting to see how world events and U.S. inflation-fighting policies will influence the job market.  Supply chain bottlenecks and rising interest rates will likely affect economic growth and eventually the Iabor market,” said Dr. Houtenville. “Meanwhile, staffing issues continue to be a problem around the country. In many areas it is difficult to fill jobs, even with wages rising and initial salary offers increasing,” he added.

Monitoring the National Trends in Disability Employment will help us track the impact of these economic shifts on people with disabilities. Register now for upcoming nTIDE webinars scheduled for September 2 and September 23, 2022: nTIDE Lunch & Learn Webinar Series | Center for Research on Disability.


bar graph of job employment



Field Notes

For the most part, people with disabilities who were impacted by the pandemic are now back to work, according to Job Path NYC, a nonprofit that provides customized employment services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. “But for some individuals with more intense support needs, returning to work has been slower,” said nTIDE co-author John O’Neill, PhD, director of the Center for Employment and Disability Employment Research at Kessler Foundation and board member of Job Path NYC.

According to Job Path NYC, New York schools and the theater district are two job sectors that are struggling organizationally to a degree to return to a place where they can rehire Job Path participants, explained Dr. O’Neill. “Staffing shortages and undetermined sources of funding have caused organizational challenges in New York’s public schools, hindering job placement,” he added. “Because of these factors, jobs that people with disabilities filled often don’t exist anymore. The pandemic caused long-term and intermittent closures of venues in the theater district, which also led to job losses,” said Dr. O'Neill. “Many staff members and supervisors who liaison with Job Path NYC have left their positions, so the job placement team must start over to make connections, Dr. O’Neill concluded.

For in-depth analysis of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on employment trends, see our recent nTIDE Special Edition: Workers with disabilities overcome pandemic setbacks, outpacing people without disabilities to set new records for employment.

Each nTIDE release is followed by a Lunch & Learn webinar at 12:00 pm ET, featuring nTIDE experts Andrew Houtenville, PhD, and John O’Neill, PhD. You may register for upcoming webinars and view the nTIDE archives here: nTIDE Lunch & Learn Webinar Series | Center for Research on Disability.

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).

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



Press contacts

Deb Hauss, senior staff writer, 973.324.8372,

Carolann Murphy, senior medical writer,973.324.8382,

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nTide Job Report Reports 2022