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Chartbook on Disability in the U.S.

Section 5: Work and Disabilities

5.4. How has the number of disabled people in the labor force changed over time?

The long term trend is toward higher rates of participation in the labor force, for both those with a disability and those with no disability. In 1983, 79.1% of persons with no disability were part of the labor force; in 1994, that figure had risen to 83.0%. Of those with disabilities, 48.6% were part of the labor force in 1983; in 1994, the proportion had risen to 51.8%.

However, the majority of that change is due to the change in labor force participation of women. The rate of men with a disability has stayed fairly constant - 60% in 1983, 58.8% in 1994. The same rate for women, however, increased from 38% in 1983 to 45.6% in 1994.

The rate of participation in the labor force has increased for women with a disability but dropped for men with a disability.

Figure 5.4

Source: Trupin, 1996

Survey: NHIS 1983-1994

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