Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Federal grant for disabled worker placement

The Statesman Journal reports that Oregon is one of just three states receiving federal grants to fund job placement of disabled workers. The $100,000 grant is designed to move disabled workers into jobs where most employees do not have disabilities, where disabled workers receive at least minimum wages, and employers pay the wages. The grant funds will pay for technical assistance for employers who hire disabled workers.

The national unemployment rate for workers with disabilities in February was 15.8 percent, compared with 8.4 percent for workers that did not have a disability. Women with disabilities have a slightly lower unemployment rate (16.0%) than men with disabilities (18.4%), but both groups have much higher unemployment compared to women and men that do not have disabilities (7.9% and 9.2%, respectively).

Individuals with a disability are much less likely to participate in the labor force; in February only 19.9 percent of individuals with a disability age 16 or older were counted as either employed or unemployed. For all persons with no disability, 69.2 percent of the civilian non-institutional population were in the labor force.

Despite a low labor force participation rate and high unemployment, persons with disabilities held more than 4.6 million jobs across the country in February, accounting for roughly 3.3 percent of all employed workers. In other words, 1 in 30 U.S. workers has a disability. Workers with disabilities contribute a great deal to the economy, but just to drive the point home: there are more workers with a disability in the United States than there are employed people in Washington and Oregon, combined.

More details about Oregon's grant are available in the full article.

Data about the nation's workforce by disability status can be found at the BLS website.

The unemployment rates in this post are not seasonally adjusted.

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