Employment Statistics for People with Disabilities – Best and Worst State Employment Rates

Date: 3/4/19
Title: Employment Statistics for People with Disabilities – Best and Worst State Employment Rates

 Studies show that the job growth slowed for people with disabilities

The Census Bureau released its 2018 Annual Disability Statistics Compendium  to equip policy-makers, self-advocates and employers with clear statistics on disability in America.  Out of over 20 million working-age people with disabilities, 7.5 million have jobs.  Thirty-seven percent of U.S. civilians with disabilities, ages 18 – 64, had a job, compared to 77.2% for people without disabilities.  According to the Census Bureau, there are more than 56 million Americans living with a disability. 

The nonpartisan advocacy group RespectAbility shows that 111,804 people with disabilities entered the workforce in 2017 which is down from the previous year’s increase of over 343,000 new jobs for people with disabilities.  According to Philip Kahn-Pauli, Policy and Practices Director at RespectAbility, “employment rates only tell part of the story.”  “When you look across the intersection of disability and race, you find serious gaps in outcomes.”  Only 28.6% of Hispanics with disabilities and 41.2% of Asian Americans with disabilities have jobs. 

The following 10 states (percent of disability employment rate) led the way in employing individuals with disabilities in 2017.  For a full ranking of all states, refer to the chart in the article.

    1.       North Dakota (56.3%)

2.       South Dakota (51.3%)

3.       Utah (49.5%)

4.       Nebraska (49.3%)

5.       Minnesota (47.8%)

6.       Vermont (47.2%)

7.       Kansas (46.4%)

8.       Montana (45.9%)

9.       Iowa (45.7%)

10.     Wyoming (45.6%)

Of the 50 states, 29 saw job gains for people with disabilities; however, the same group lost economic ground in 21 states.  Census data showed significant strides were made in Florida where 23,953 individuals with disabilities gained new jobs; in Illinois with the second biggest job gains with over 20,000 new jobs.  Alternatively, 50,000 people with disabilities left the Illinois workforce. 

The following 10 states (percent of disability employment rate) have the lowest employment rates for individuals with disabilities.

40.   Louisiana (33.9%)

41.   Michigan (33.8%)

42.   North Carolina (33.8%)

43.   New Mexico (33.7%)

44.   Tennessee (33.3%)

45.   South Carolina (32.6%)

46.   Arkansas (30.8%)

47.   Kentucky (30.2%)

48.   Mississippi (27.6%)

49.   Alabama (26.8%)

50.   West Virginia (26.1%)

The foregoing has been prepared for the general information of clients and friends of Workplace Dynamics LLC and is not being represented as being all-inclusive or complete. It has been abridged from legislation, administrative ruling, agency directives, and other information provided by the government. It is not meant to provide legal advice with respect to any specific matter and should not be acted upon without professional counsel.