Persons with a Disability: Labor Force Characteristics Summary, Feb. 23, 2023 
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 

  • 21.3% of persons with a disability were employed in 2022, which is up from 19.1% in 2021 
  • In 2022:
    • Persons with a disability accounted for 12% of the civilian noninstitutional population 
    • Employed persons with a disability were more likely to be self-employed than those with no disability 
    • 9.5% of disabled workers were self-employed in 2022, compared to 6.1% of workers without a disability 
    • Employment-population ratio for persons with a disability increased by 2.2% from 2021, reaching 21.3% 
    • Highest employment-population ratio on record 
    • 30% of workers with a disability were employed part time 
    • Unemployment rate for persons with a disability was 7.6%, which is 2.5 percentage points lower than the 2021 rate
    • Jobless rate was twice as high for disabled individuals than for individuals without a disability 
      • Data marker composed of unemployed persons without a job, were available for work, and were actively looking for work in the 4 weeks preceding survey 

“Born for Business” Disability Entrepreneurship Toolkit 

  • “This toolkit provides an inventory of existing materials, advice and guides for those jobseekers with disabilities ready to become self-employed, launch a new enterprise, or develop their entrepreneurial skills.” 

People with Disabilities at Work: A Resource Guide to Achieving Economic Independence and Inclusion through Employment and Entrepreneurship 

  • National college entry rates for young people with disabilities are 15.5% lower than the overall enrollment rate. 
  • In 2019, 19.3% of people with disabilities were employed, compared to 66.3% of non-disabled people.  

Small Business Ownership by People with Disabilities: Challenges and Opportunities 
National Disability Institute 

  • The American Community Survey (ACS) estimates 1.8 million adults with disabilities own small businesses. 
  • Remember: SSDI recipients risk losing their benefits if their assets exceed $2,000.  

A Research Window – Self-Employment for People with Disabilities 
Job Accommodation Network 

  • Increasing access to self-employment can be done by identifying and utilizing motivations for self-employment, having increased training and support, improving vocational rehabilitation services, and supporting people in taking risks.  

Resources from The Harkin Institute for Public Policy & Citizen Engagement