Disabled workers less likely to be employed News added by Benefits Pro on March 19, 2013
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By Amanda McGrory-Dixon

Disabled workers are less likely to be employed, and among those who are, they tend to make lower pay, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey.

The survey finds that more than half of disabled workers are primarily in four general occupation groups: service workers at 18.2 percent; administrative support at 15.1 percent; sales workers at 10.4 percent; and management, business and finance at 8.9 percent. For specific jobs, 315,000 janitors and building cleaners are disabled, 263,000 drivers and truck drivers are disabled, 256,000 cashiers are disabled, and 223,000 retails salespeople are disabled.

Of the job roles with at least 100,000 people, the highest disability rates are among dishwashers at 14.3 percent, refuse and recyclable material collectors at 12.7 percent, personal care aides at 11.9 percent, and janitors and building cleaners at 11.8 percent. Fifty-two percent of respondents made less than $25,000 in the previous year as opposed to 38 percent of workers with no disabilities. The earnings gap comes to about 75 percent of what workers without disabilities make.

"Even within the largest occupations, employed workers with disabilities, on average, earned less than similarly employed workers without disabilities," says Jennifer Cheeseman Day, the assistant chief for employment characteristics in the Census Bureau's Social, Economic and Housing Statistics Division. "Several factors may account for this earnings gap, such as differences in age, work experience, number of hours worked or other factors. For example, 46 percent of workers with a disability worked full time, year-round compared with 62 percent of workers with no disability."

Among non-Hispanic whites, janitors and building cleaners are the most common occupations with 184,000 people, the survey finds. For non-Hispanic blacks, janitors and building cleaners account for 60,000 people and 54,000 people among Hispanics. Respondents represent 6.3 percent of the male civilian labor force and 5.7 percent of the female civilian labor force.

Of the male respondents, the three most common occupations are drivers and sales workers and truck drivers at 246,000 people; janitors and building cleaners at 217,000 people; and laborers and freight, stock, and material movers at 171,000, the survey shows. The top occupations for female respondents are cashiers at 195,000 people; secretaries and administrative assistants at 189,000 people; and nursing, psychiatric and home health aides at 172,000 people.

Originally published on BenefitsPro.com
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