According to new data from the Disability Compendium’s 2015 Disability Statistics Annual Report, only 34.4 percent of U.S. civilians with disabilities ages 18-64 living in the community were employed on average nationally in 2014, compared to 75.4 percent for people without disabilities – a massive gap of 41 percentage points in the labor force participation rates. This leads to poverty, prison and poor health outcomes.
The new report shows a huge variation in the rates of employment for persons with disabilities between the states.
“The 2016 presidential campaign is largely a reflection of how much the American people are hurting economically. No group is hurting more than people with disabilities, whose gap in labor force participation rates from people without disabilities has increased dramatically,” said Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, president of RespectAbility.
“Each year 300,000 young people with disabilities age into what should be the workforce. Sadly, however, in most states, the majority is sitting on the sidelines, despite the fact that most want to work. However, the Disability Compendium shows that were leaders to do the right things, people with disabilities would be twice as likely to be working than in other states.”
South Dakota ranks first in the nation for employment of people with disabilities as more than half the working-age people with disabilities (50.1 percent) in South Dakota have a job. Indeed, individuals with disabilities in South Dakota are TWICE as likely to be working as those in the worst performing state of West Virginia where only 25.6 percent have jobs. Rounding out the top five states in terms of best outcomes are North Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska and Wyoming.
In contrast, Indiana’s employment rate for individuals with disabilities was 36.2%, landing it at a ranking of 25th in the nation. The gap in participation rate between individuals with disabilities and Hoosiers without disabilities was 40.7 percentage points, ranking the Hoosier state at 29th in the nation.
Ability Indiana staff are working diligently to change these numbers. In 2015 over 330 people with disabilities participated in Ability Indiana and created nearly $10 million worth of goods and services for the Hoosier State. Overall sales reached a pinnacle of $9.5M and wages earned reached $1.676 million.
For more information on Ability Indiana or how to become an employment center please contact any member of the Ability Indiana Team at 317-634-4957.