Employment Rate for People with Disabilities

The Scorecard tracked the employment rate of people with disabilities relative to that of people without disabilities across several editions. In this edition, the national rate is 21.6 percent (2021 data), which is the same as it was in the 2020 Scorecard (2018-2019). At the state level, however, there were real fluctuations over the last few years. In 13 states, performance improved by ten percent or more. On the other hand, 15 states saw decline in performance by the same magnitude. The District of Columbia had the greatest increase from the last Scorecard, improving by 11 percentage points to a rate of 29.7 percent in 2021.

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The relative rate of employment (full or part time) for people ages 18 to 64 with a self-care difficulty (difficulty dressing or bathing; a reasonable approximation to ADL disability) compared with the rate of employment of people ages 18 to 64 without a self-care difficulty. Employment rate is calculated as the percentage of all people who are employed, including those who are not in the labor force, as many people with disabilities are not in the labor force even though they may have the skills and desire to work.

Example: if a state value is 20%, it means that the employment rate for people with disabilities is 1/5 as high as people without disabilities.

The ratio of employment rate for adults with ADL disability to adults without ADL disability was calculated for each year, and this ratio was averaged across the three “current years” and three “reference years” to create the current and baseline indicator values.

Current year 2021 data are from 2021 and come from the American Community Survey, US Census Bureau. Reference 2018-2019 are from 2018 and 2019 from the same source. 

US Census Bureau, ACS, American Community Survey (Washington, DC: US Census Bureau, 2018, 2019, and 2021), data table B18120, available at US Census Bureau, 


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