Workers with a Disability Less Likely to be Employed, More Likely to Hold Jobs
with Lower Earnings, Census Bureau Reports
WASHINGTON, March 14, 2013
WASHINGTON, March 14, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Individuals with
disabilities were less likely to be employed than individuals without
disabilities, and those who were employed typically held jobs with lower
earnings and also earned less than their colleagues with no disability,
according to the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey. Based on the
new Disability Employment Tabulation, the statistics show that between 2008
and 2010, individuals without disabilities were about three times more likely
to be employed than individuals with disabilities. Overall, individuals with
disabilities accounted for 9.4 million, or 6.0 percent, of the 155.9 million
civilian labor force.
More than half of all workers with a disability were concentrated in four
general occupation groups: service workers (except protective services) with
18.2 percent, followed by administrative support (15.1 percent), sales workers
(10.4 percent) and management, business and finance (8.9 percent).
Among specific occupations, janitors and building cleaners had the highest
number of employees with a disability at 315,000, or 11.8 percent of all
workers in that field, followed by drivers/sales workers and truck drivers
with 263,000 people, cashiers with 256,000 and retail salespeople with
Among occupations with 100,000 or more people, dishwashers had the highest
disability rate at 14.3 percent, followed by refuse and recyclable material
collectors (12.7 percent), personal care aides (11.9 percent), and janitors
and building cleaners (11.8 percent). The rates for refuse and recyclable
material collectors, personal care aides, and janitors and building cleaners
were not statistically different from one another.
More than half of workers with disabilities (52 percent) earned less than
$25,000 in the previous year, compared with just 38 percent of workers with no
disabilities. This translates into an earnings gap where individuals with
disabilities earn about 75 percent of what workers without disabilities earn.
"Even within the largest occupations, employed workers with disabilities, on
average,earned less than similarly employed workers without disabilities,"
said Jennifer Cheeseman Day, the assistant chief for employment
characteristics in the Census Bureau's Social, Economic and Housing Statistics
Division. "Several factors may account for this earnings gap, such as
differences in age, work experience, number of hours worked, or other factors.
For example, 46 percent of workers with a disability worked full time,
year-round compared with 62 percent of workers with no disability."
The Disability Employment Tabulation 2008-2010 — available on American
FactFinder (the Census Bureau's online statistics search tool) — is sponsored
by the Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy and Office
of Federal Contract Compliance Programs.
"Reliable, accurate data on disability employment is an essential tool for
furthering education, research and policy initiatives that improve employment
opportunities and outcomes for people with disabilities," said acting
Secretary of Labor Seth D. Harris.
The Disability Employment Tabulation, which has similar content to that found
in the recently released Equal Employment Opportunity Tabulation, now presents
in-depth labor force characteristics of individuals with disabilities, with
more details on employment status, occupation, education and earnings.
In addition, the latest tabulation provides information about the labor force
across several variables, including, age, sex, race, Hispanic origin,
occupation groups, citizenship and earnings by employment status.
Overall, janitors and building cleaners were among the most common occupations
for individuals with a disability for non-Hispanic whites (184,000 people),
non-Hispanic blacks (60,000) and Hispanics (54,000).
Individuals with disabilities accounted for 6.3 percent of the male civilian
labor force and 5.7 percent of the female civilian labor force.
The three most common occupations for men with disabilities were drivers/sales
workers and truck drivers (246,000); janitors and building cleaners (217,000);
and laborers and freight, stock, and material movers (171,000). For women,
they were cashiers (195,000); secretaries and administrative assistants
(189,000); and nursing, psychiatric and home health aides (172,000). The
number of male laborers and freight, stock, and material movers was not
significantly different from the number of female nursing, psychiatric and
home health aides.
The American Community Survey allows us to obtain statistics for detailed
geographic entities with this tabulation, allowing individuals, businesses and
local governments the opportunity to study employment and labor force
diversity by disability status within their communities.
The American Community Survey provides a wide range of important statistics
about people and housing for every community across the nation. The results
are used by everyone from town and city planners to retailers and
homebuilders. The survey is the only source of local estimates for most of the
40 topics it covers, such as education, occupation, language, ancestry and
housing costs for even the smallest communities. Ever since Thomas Jefferson
directed the first census in 1790, the census has collected detailed
characteristics about our nation's people. Questions about jobs and the
economy were added 20 years later under James Madison, who said such
information would allow Congress to "adapt the public measures to the
particular circumstances of the community," and over the decades, allow
America "an opportunity of marking the progress of the society."
CONTACT: Melanie Deal
Public Information Office
SOURCE U.S. Census Bureau
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