Low Unemployment a Plus for the Disabled

As employers face increasing difficulties in attracting entry-level workers, some companies have been pursuing more constructive strategies for developing opportunities for the disabled.

Along with low unemployment levels and a gradual increase in work force participation, the available data indicates that the disabled are now also part of the trend.

The average unemployment rate for the disabled fell to 8% in 2018, down 4.6 percentage points from 2014.  In addition, the number of Americans receiving federal disability benefits dropped to 8.5 million in December from a peak of 9.0 million four years earlier.

This is a big deal.  Employment among people with disabilities has been declining for a long time, now it’s not.  The economic pluses for the economy and the individuals is obvious.  Less quantifiable are the positive human benefits of meaningful work.  Sitting around and getting a government Social Security disability payment may sound appealing.  It’s not, it’s debilitating, and can lead to all kinds of physical well-being problems.

All comments and suggestions are welcome.

Walter J. Kirchberger, CFA