The disability employment gap remains unchanged

The disability employment gap remained unchanged in the first quarter of 2023, the latest figures from the Office of National Statistics show.

Disabled people are more likely to be unemployed or economically inactive than those without disabilities, and the difference between the two has increased marginally.

Disabled people had an economic inactivity rate of 42.7%, which is almost triple that of people who are not disabled at 14.3%.

The unemployment rate for disabled people decreased to 6.2% from the previous year of 6.6% but was still almost double the unemployment rate of people who are not disabled, at 3.4%. 

Disabled people had an employment rate of 53.7%, unchanged from the year before, compared to the employment rate of people who are not disabled, which was almost 30% higher at 82.7%, up slightly from 81.9%.

GRAPH: Illustrating the differences in economic activity, employment and unemployment rates between disabled and non-disabled people from data published in the A08: Labour market status of disabled people which covered January to March 2023.

The disability employment gap

The disability employment gap describes the difference in the employment rate of people who are disabled and people who are not disabled. 

As per the most recent statistics as illustrated, the disability employment gap is currently 29 percentage points.

Matthew, a disabled man from London, shared that, due to his disability, he was limited to the type of work he could apply for, leaving him with less opportunities.

He added that sometimes it may not only be an inability to do the job, but there are other barriers such as travelling to work or even access to the site. 

He said: “For my job now, I am fortunate enough to be in a position to easily access my workplace. However, I know that isn’t always the case, especially when the disabilities are more severe.”

From January to March, 9.58 million people of working age (16 to 64) reported that they were disabled, which is 23% of the working age population, an increase of almost 600,000 from the previous year. 

Of those, 5.15 million were in employment, an increase of 325,000 from a year previously, 4.09 million were economically inactive, an increase of 273,000 from a year before and an unchanged 342,000 were unemployed.

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