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Section 2: Work Disability and the Labor Force

2.5. Does labor force participation of people with a work disability differ by education?

As level of education rises, so does labor force participation, and this is true for people with and without work disabilities. However, labor force participation increases much more sharply for people with work disabilities than for those without. Among the work-disabled population, 25 to 64 years of age, only 16% of those with less than 12 years of education were in the labor force. Labor force participation rises to 27.3% for those who completed 12 years of school, increases again to 40.9% for those with 13 to 15 years of education, and reaches 50.6% for people with 16 or more years of education.

In comparison, among people in the same 25 to 64-year-old age group who do not have a work disability, 78.1% of those with less than 12 years of education were in the labor force. For those with 12 years of school, the rate was 85.6%; for those with 13 to 15 years of school, 88.2%; and for those with 16 years or more, 89.9%.

Labor force participation increases with education level more sharply for those with a work disability than for those without.

Bar graph showing labor force participation versus education level.

Figure 10: Percentage in labor force, by work disability status and years of education, 25-64 years

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

Surveys: CPS, 1998.

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