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Labor force participation rate 20.8 percent for people with a disability in 2019

August 10, 2020

During 2019, 20.8 percent of people with a disability either were employed or were looking for work. In contrast, the labor force participation rate for people without a disability was 68.7 percent. Across all age groups, labor force participation rates were much lower for people with a disability than for people without a disability.

Labor force participation rate by disability status and age, 2019
Age Persons with a disability Persons with no disability

Total, 16 years and older

20.8% 68.7%

16 to 64 years

33.6 77.3

16 to 19 years

23.5 35.8

20 to 24 years

45.4 73.4

25 to 34 years

48.8 84.5

35 to 44 years

41.5 85.5

45 to 54 years

34.0 85.8

55 to 64 years

24.9 72.2

65 years and older

7.9 25.1

Among people with a disability, the highest labor force participation rate was for those ages 25 to 34 years, at 48.8 percent. The labor force participation rate for those 35 to 44 years was 41.5 percent, and the rate generally decreased with age.

Among those 65 years and older, the labor force participation rate for people with a disability (7.9 percent) was roughly one-third the rate of those without a disability (25.1 percent).

These data are from the Current Population Survey. To learn more, see Using BLS Data to Match People with Disabilities with Jobs and Persons With A Disability: Labor Force Characteristics — 2019. The labor force participation rate is the labor force (the sum of the employed and the unemployed) as a percentage of the civilian noninstitutional population. The unemployed category consists of people who did not work for pay, actively sought employment or were waiting to be recalled from a temporary layoff, and could have started a job if they received an offer.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Labor force participation rate 20.8 percent for people with a disability in 2019 on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2020/labor-force-participation-rate-20-point-8-percent-for-people-with-a-disability-during-2019.htm (visited September 23, 2020).

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