News: AAPD Releases 2013 Compendium on Disability Statistics

Gap in Employment for People with Disabilities Remains Too Wide

Washington, DC (December 11, 2013) – Today, the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), the nation’s largest disability rights organization, is pleased to announce the publication of the 2013 Compendium on Disability Statistics. The gap in employment for people with disabilities compared to people without disabilities still remains around 40.8 percentage points with 32.7 percent of people with disabilities employed versus 73.6 percent of people without disabilities employed.

“The findings contained in 2013 Compendium on Disability Statistics shine a light onto the unfinished work that must be done to improve outcomes of Americans with disabilities,” said Mark Perriello, President and CEO of AAPD. “Despite recent gains from the federal government to the private sector to increase economic opportunities, Americans with disabilities remain unemployed and outside the work force at alarming rates. Business, government, and community organizations must work together to build outcome oriented solutions at the local, state, and national level.”

The Compendium is a web-based tool that pools disability statistics published by various federal agencies together in one place. It is often difficult to find statistics concerning people with disabilities due to the fact that many different federal organizations publish their own reports. TheCompendium, funded by the National Institute on Disability Research and Rehabilitation and produced by the University of New Hampshire Institute on Disability (UNH/IOD) in collaboration with AAPD, works to address these research issues by centralizing the data.

Key findings from the 2013 Compendium include:

  • Labor force participation for people with disabilities has been nominally decreasing since 2008. Currently, 20.6 percent of people with disabilities participate in the labor force compared to 69.4 percent of people without disabilities.
  • 13.4 percent of people with disabilities are unemployed compared to 7.9 percent of people without disabilities.
  • 28.4 percent of people with disabilities with a Bachelor’s degree or higher are employed compared to 76.1 percent of people without disabilities.

These statistics are from 2012 (most comprehensive data available) and do not include people who are on public assistance programs, living in institutions, in the armed forces, are retired, or incarcerated. The Compendium serves as a reference guide for policymakers and comes during a renewed focus on employment as the government announced a landmark effort that would require federal contractors to set a 7 percent hiring target for people with disabilities in addition to other national and state employment efforts.

To download and learn more about the 2013 Compendium of Disability Statistics, please go to


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