California Unemployment Rate For People With Disabilities Not Best, Not Worst, But Not Good

The recently released “Disability Statistics Annual Report” produced by the University of New Hampshire’s Institute on Disability sets forth data pertaining to the number of people with disabilities who are employed on a state by state basis, together with what the employment rates are for individuals without disabilities. The report also looks at median earnings, poverty levels, and the general health of the disability and non-disability populations. Nationally, 34.4% of individuals with disabilities between the ages of 18-64 who were living in the community were employed in 2014. This is less than one half of the 75.4% rate reported for the non-disabled population.

The report found state variation in the employment rates of persons with disabilities ranging from a high of 50.1% to a low of 25.6%, compared to the employment rate for people without disabilities of between 83.9% to a low of 70.4%.

In California, the employment rate for individuals with disabilities between the age of 18-64 living in the community is not the best nor the worst at a range between 31.3-36.1%. However, this rate is not very good as compared to the California rate for persons without disabilities which is between 70.4-74.2%.

Additionally, the median wage rate for California individuals with disabilities is significantly lower than for those without disabilities. The gap was between $8,273-$10,095.  In 2014, individuals with disabilities between age 18-64 in California made between $20,793-$22,656 as compared to $30,753-$33,970 for individuals without disabilities.

The report also found that individuals with disabilities in California between the age of 18-6 were almost twice as likely to live in poverty as their non-disabled counterparts. The poverty rate for working age individuals with disabilities in California was 24.5-27.6% as compared to 12.6-14.6% for individuals without disabilities. The national poverty rate for US citizens with disabilities  was 28.1% compared to the national rate for citizens without disabilities of 13.3%.

Sources for the article: “Disability Statistics Annual Report” by University of New Hampshire’s Institute of Disability; “Best, Worst States Named for Disability Employment” Shaun Heasley, March 25, 2016, Disability Scoop