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Bureau of Labor Statistics: Labor Force Participation Rate for People with Disabilities is Two Percent Higher Than Before The Pandemic

Washington, D.C., December 11 – With the holiday season here and 2022 around the corner, workers with disabilities face a transformed labor market hungry for their ideas, innovations, and insights. According to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the labor force participation rate for working-age people with disabilities is now at 37.7 percent. This number is fully 2 percentage points higher than it was before the pandemic started.

What does this mean for Americans with disabilities? It means that more than a million people with disabilities got jobs or started a business! A historic number of workers with disabilities are seeking work, improving their skills, starting new jobs and earning an income, just like anyone else.

There is an opportunity for more workers with disabilities to learn entrepreneurial skills and start their very own businesses. As highlighted by the ground-breaking, stigma-busting TV show Born for Business, people with disabilities can strike on their own as business owners and earn an income in the competitive marketplace. As of the 2019 American Community Survey, approximately 700,000 workers with disabilities were self-employed, enjoying the flexibility and opportunities that entrepreneurship provides. Potential entrepreneurs with disabilities need resources, assets and support to translate their entrepreneurial ideas into actual, viable businesses.

“If sustained leadership from the public and private sectors continue to focus on advancing opportunities, then this will truly become an inclusive recovery that helps more Americans succeed,” said Philip Kahn-Pauli, Policy and Practices Director at RespectAbility.

Meet the Author

Philip Pauli

Philip Kahn-Pauli is the Policy and Practices Director of RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities for people with disabilities. He works with state leaders to develop solutions for youth with disabilities, support job seekers with disabilities and open pathways into the workforce. To reach him, email philipp@respectability.org.

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