A new (at least, newish) batch of employment figures hints at how the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) could make life harder for some people with disabilities.
The University of New Hampshire’s Institute on Disability has included a table on the “full-time, year-round employment rate” among non-institutionalized civilians ages 16 to 64 in its latest Disability Statistics Compendium.
Usually we hear about the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics unemployment and employment rate figures. When coming up with those figures, the statisticians count John Doe as being employed if he did any work at all for pay or profit during the survey week. That definition includes part-time and temporary work.
In other words: The definition includes a lot of work that can’t really pay a normal independent adult’s bills.
Of course, some seasonal, temporary, intermittent and part-time workers make out like bandits when they’re working and enjoy their time off. But, most don’t.
The Institute on Disability looked at some less-cited government figures, from the Current Population Survey, and found that the percentage of workers who face no physical limitations and work full-time, year-round, dropped to 75.9 percent in 2011, from 79.2 percent in 1980, the earliest year in the data series, and from a high of 83.5 percent in 1999.
For people who face limitations — people with disabilities — the full-time, year-round, “true job” employment rate has plunged to 19.9 percent, from a 1980-2011 peak of 39.3 percent in 1989 and from 34.7 percent in 1980.