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Disability labor force stats look worse

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For people with disabilities, the U.S. job market looked worse in July.

For all U.S. civilian, noninstitutionalized people ages 16 and older who happen to have disabilities, the unemployment rate jumped to 14.7 percent in July, up from 13.6 percent in July 2012. In June, the unemployment rate for people with disabilities increased to 14.2 percent, from 13.6 percent.

Women with disabilities seem to be less likely to be engaged in the labor force than they were one year ago. U.S. men with disabilities seem to be putting more effort into getting into and staying in the labor force than they were a year ago, however. 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has published this and other data on workers with disabilities in a new civilian population employment status report

For people with no disabilities, the unemployment rate fell to 7.4 percent in July, from 8.4 percent in June 2012.

The percentage of adults ages 16 and over with disabilities who were either working or trying to work fell to 20.3 percent, from 20.7 percent. The participation rate also fell for workers with no disabilities — to 69.7 percent, from 70 percent.

For women with disabilities ages 16 to 64, the unemployment rate rose to 18.7 percent from 17.7 percent and the labor force participation fell to 28.3 percent from 28.7 percent.

For men in that age group with disabilities, the unemployment rate climbed to 15.1 percent from 12.4 percent — but the participation rate also rose. About 35.3 percent of men with disabilities were working or trying to work in July, up from 34.4 percent a year earlier.

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 — noted that the numbers may change later this year, when bureau analysts start to adjust the figures for seasonal employment variations.

John O’Neill, a disability researcher at the foundation, said he’s happy to see more men becoming engaged with the labor force.

“It is unclear, however, whether they are finding jobs,” O’Neill said.

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