Employment gap widens for disabled people

October 7, 2005

Cornell University has released a study indicating the employment gap between Americans with disabilities and those without disabilities has widened.

The study, which coincides with the start of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, was part of a series of reports released by the Ithaca, N.Y., school in collaboration with the American Association of People with Disabilities.

The researchers found that during 2004 the "employment gap" between those with disabilities in the workforce and those workers without disabilities was 40.3 percent, as compared with a 39.7-percent gap during 2003.

"The rise in the employment gap suggests that people with disabilities are not participating in the recovery from the 2001 recession," said Andrew Houtenville, director of Cornell's Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Disability Demographics and Statistics.

The report also found the poverty rate rose more between 2004 and 2003 for people with disabilities than for those without. For people with disabilities, it increased to 24.1 percent of working-age Americans from 23.3 percent during 2003. For people without disabilities it increased 9.1 percent, from 8.9 percent.

The Annual Disability Status Reports from Cornell are available at DisabilityStatistics.org.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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