Press Release Kessler Foundation

nTIDE June 2022 COVID Update: Increases in unemployment reflect more people looking for work


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

East Hanover, NJ. July 22, 2022. Unemployment increased slightly in June for people with and without disabilities, according to Friday’s National Trends in Disability Employment (nTIDE) COVID Update. The June data are consistent with the gains in labor force participation rates detailed  in this month’s prior nTIDE report, noted nTIDE expert John O’Neill, PhD, director of the Center for Employment and Disability Employment Research at Kessler Foundation.

“We need to remember that unemployment data includes people looking for work, so this month’s unemployment picture appears to reflect people entering the labor market to increase family income in response to the rapidly rising cost of living,” said Andrew Houtenville, PhD, professor of economics at the University of Hampshire (UNH) and research director of the UNH Institute on Disability.

While efforts to stem inflation will begin to slow economic growth, there will be a lag in the effects on employment. “We would not be seeing the impact of counter-inflationary measures on the labor market so soon,” Dr. Houtenville explained. “It takes a while for a downshift in economic growth to lead to job losses. If the inflation trend continues, however, the Fed may take more actions that would raise the risk of a more drastic downshift.”

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 August 5 and August 19: nTIDE Lunch & Learn Webinar Series | Center for Research on Disability.


Field Notes

As the economy recovers from pandemic-related restrictions, widespread staffing shortages are hindering business in many sectors, including disability employment services. Many service providers are reporting inadequate staffing as people in the field pursue new opportunities, according to Elaine E. Katz, MS, CCC-SLP, senior vice president of Grants and Communications at Kessler Foundation.

“Resignations and job swapping are straining the system, diverting resources to hiring initiatives and job training at a time when jobseekers with disabilities need to compete for available openings,” she reported. “Because continuity of services is especially important for people with disabilities, we need to see greater stability in staffing of vocational service providers.” 

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.


These graphics compare the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic on people with and without disabilities, capturing pre-pandemic and current unemployment data from
January 2020 to June 2022. June numbers showed a slight increase in unemployment for people with disabilities and people without disabilities.


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



Press contacts

Deb Hauss, senior staff writer, 973.324.8372,

Carolann Murphy, senior medical writer,973.324.8382,

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