Access to Disability Data

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Chartbook on Women and Disability

Section 3: Women: Disability, work, income and benefits

3.4. Does labor force participation of people with a work disability differ by gender?

Work disability is another important disability measure that has not yet been described in this chartbook. The Current Population Survey (CPS) asks people whether they have a condition that limits the kind or amount of work they do. In 1998, 17.2 million people, or 9.9% of the working age U.S. population (16-64 years) had a work disability.

In general, more men than women participate in the labor force, and this is true for people with and without work disabilities. For both men and women, labor force participation is much lower among those with a work disability. In 1998, among working age people, only 2.5 million or 28.5% women with a work disability and only 2.7 million or 32.3% of men with a work disability participated in the labor force. In contrast, 59.7 million or 75.8% of women with no work disability and 68.2 million or 89.1% of men with no work disability participated in the labor force.

For both women and men, work disability dramatically lowers labor force participation rates.

Vertical bar chart. Go to Data Table for Figure 13 for the data values shown in this chart.

Figure 13: Percentage participating in labor force, by work disability status and gender, 16 to 64 years old

Data Table for Figure 13

Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census Website, Table 298.

Surveys: CPS, 1998

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