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Kessler: Return-to-work job market still soft

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More U.S. women with disabilities may be giving up on the hope of getting a decent, on-the-books job.

For all U.S. civilian, noninstitutionalized people ages 16 and older who happen to have disabilities, the unemployment rate increased to 14.2 percent in June, up from 13.3 percent in June 2012.

The employment-to-population ratio for those people fell slightly, to 17.4 percent, from 17.7 percent.

The shifts were much more dramatic for women ages 16 to 64 who have disabilities.

The employment-to-population rate for women with disabilities fell to 23.4 percent for those women, from 25.1 percent, and their unemployment rate soared to 17.7 percent, from 15.4 percent.

The unemployment rate for all U.S. workers ages 16 and older fell to 7.6 percent, from 8.2 percent, over that same period.

In May, the unemployment rate for people with disabilities increased to 13.6 percent, from 12.9 percent.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has published that data in a new civilian population employment status report

The Kessler Foundation — a think tank that conducts research on workers with disabilities and now publishes a monthly report on the state of the job market for people with disabilities — said the latest BLS figures show that June was a “difficult month for people disabilities.”

John O’Neill, a disability researcher at the foundation, said the figures suggest that people with disabilities are less engaged in the labor force than they were a year ago.

But O’Neill added that the BLS data series is still new and that the bureau does not have enough years of data to adjust the figures for seasonal fluctuations in employment.

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