Friday, February 06, 2009

An Historic First -- Read It and Weep

Disability statistics guru and all-round good guy Andrew Houtenville reports today: “An historic event occurred this morning in the field of disability statistics. For the first time in history, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in collaboration with the Office of Employment and Disability Policy (ODEP), released the “official” unemployment rate for people with disabilities. In January 2009, 13.2 percent of people with disabilities were unemployed. This is substantially higher than the 8.3 percent unemployment rate for people without disabilities.”

Here’s the link:

Today, the U.S. Department of Labor released the first official data on the employment status of persons with disabilities. In January 2009, the employment rate for persons with disabilities was 23.1 percent. The unemployment rate for those with disabilities was 13.2 percent.These data provide, for the first time, an official monthly measure of the labor force situation for people with disabilities. The Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) sponsored the addition of new disability questions to the Current Population Survey (CPS) starting in June 2008. The addition of these questions to the CPS will allow the analysis of the labor force situation of persons with disabilities to be based on the same concepts that are already used for other groups. In addition to using the data to formulate policy recommendations, ODEP will use them to target its training, technical assistance, research, and dissemination efforts.