New data shows decline in employment of Australians with disability

Fri 22 November 2013

The Australian Bureau of Statistics recently released the 2012 Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers, and the findings paint a dispiriting picture that reinforces Australia’s poor track record for employment of people with disability. When compared to data from the previous survey undertaken in 2009, the new data indicates declining rates of employment of people with disability across all measurements:

  • The total number of people with disability in employment went backwards (1.086m to 1.052m)
  • The workforce participation of people with disability went backwards from 54.3% to 52.8%, despite the overall percentage of the population with disability remaining the same at 18.5%
  • The unemployment rate for people with disability went up from 7.8% to 9.4%. The comparison unemployment rate of people without disability in the report  is 4.9%.
  • People permanently unable to work went up from 590,000 to 610,000

Lower employment rates, along with the older profile of people with disability, contribute to people with disability aged 15 years and over being more likely to live in a household with low income than those without disability (48% compared with 22%), further entrenching the risk of poverty.

For more information, see the full survey findings on the ABS website.



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