On January 25, 2023
The year 2022 was a remarkable and historic time for employment for people with disabilities. That’s according to today’s National Trends in Disability Employment (nTIDE) 2022 Year-End Special Edition, published by the East Hanover-based Kessler Foundation and the University of New Hampshire’s Institute on Disability (UNH-IOD), based on data from the US Bureau of Job Statistics Reports (BLS).
Employment trends in 2022 built on the recovery from the pandemic recession in 2021 – where people with disabilities exceeded pre-COVID-19 and even pre-Great Recession levels. These trends are in stark contrast to those of their able-bodied peers without disabilities, who have not yet reached pre-pandemic levels.
The average monthly employment rate for people with disabilities (aged 16-64) increased from 31.3% in 2021 to 34.8% in 2022, also higher than the 29.1% recorded in 2020 (on the peak of the pandemic) were recorded. and 30.9% in 2019 (pre-pandemic).
In contrast, the employment rate for people without disabilities (aged 16-64) increased from 72.5% in 2021 to 74.4% in 2022, which was above the 70.0% in 2020, but not above the $74.6 in 2019. The employment rate, a key indicator, reflects the proportion of the total population in employment (number of employed divided by number of people in the total population multiplied by 100).
“The labor shortage across the country meant that the demand for labor was disproportionate to the number of people willing to fill positions. Hiring managers may have had to step out of their comfort zones to accommodate different segments of workers,” said nTIDE co-author John O’Neill, PhD, director of the Kessler Foundation’s Center for Employment and Disability Research. “This likely resulted in a boon for people with disabilities looking for jobs and finding employment,” he added.
The results for the 2022 labor force participation rate were similar. For people with disabilities (16-64 years), the participation rate increased from 35.1% in 2021 to 37.8% in 2022, which was also higher than the 33.6% in 2019 and 2020 when people with Disabilities continued to be employed at the height of the pandemic.
For people without disabilities (aged 16 to 64), the participation rate increased slightly from 76.5% in 2021 to 77.1% in 2022, up from the 76.1% at the peak of the pandemic, but not above the 77.3% before the pandemic. booked in 2019. The activity rate, another important indicator, reflects the proportion of the total population who are employed, job-seekers or temporarily employed (number of employed divided by the number of employed). of people in the total population multiplied by 100).
“People with disabilities do not participate in the Great Resignation, unlike their peers without disabilities. In fact, people with disabilities have never left the labor market during the pandemic,” explained nTIDE co-author Andrew Houtenville, PhD, economics professor and research director at UNH-IOD. “The increase in home working regulations and greater flexibility in working hours during the peak of the pandemic may have opened permanent new employment opportunities for people with disabilities,” added Dr. Houtenville added.
Hiring and recruiting people with disabilities was more important to supervisors and senior management in 2022, and more organizations had set hiring targets than in 2017. “Today, more companies are collaborating with disability organizations in their recruitment efforts,” said Dr. O’Neill , PhD, adding, “And more are using external support for the inclusion of workers with disabilities. We also see more employers adopting disability and cultural skills training and turning to state and local resources to provide housing in 2022.”
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