Labor Department Shows Employment Gain for Americans with Disabilities
More wheelchair accessible vehicles are flooding the highways these days. While the jobless rate for the general population seems to have hit a plateau, the employment landscape for Americans with disabilities shows that “promise” is the word for 2013. Experts tout systems like the Ticket to Work program, the Work Opportunity Tax Credit and the Americans with Disabilities Act for the rise in opportunities being given to individuals with disabilities in the workplace today.

The end of 2012 showed a steady decrease in the unemployment rate for Americans with disabilities. The unemployment rate for people with disabilities fell to 11.7 percent in December, according to statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor. December’s rate is down from the 12.7 percent reported in November. With the decrease, December marked the fourth consecutive month that the unemployment rate declined for those with disabilities.

There hasn’t actually been a study done showing the increase of wheelchair accessible vehicles traffic, but The Labor Department did begin tracking employment rates of people with disabilities in late 2008. Enough data is not yet available to show proven seasonal trends among this population, so statistics for this group are not seasonally adjusted. Reports are now released monthly on the most up to date statistics of unemployment among Americans with disabilities.

While we are seeing more wheelchair accessible vehicles on the roads and the increase in jobs available to people with disabilities is a promising step forward for 2013, the unemployment rate for people with disabilities remains higher than the national average. The economy as a whole added 146,000 jobs in November 2012, lowering the unemployment count down to 7.7 percent.

To stay informed on the unemployment rate for Americans with disabilities, visit

This mobility safety update has been brought to you by NMEDA – the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association. Do you need information on how to make your vehicle wheelchair accessible or upgraded with the latest and most convenient features? Contact a NMEDA dealer in your local area. Your local NMEDA member is a mobility equipment and accessibility expert!

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