Employment rate of disabled people rises faster than that of the rest of the population

The Office for National Statistics has today released Labour Market Figures for January to March 2015 that include figures for the number of disabled people in work.  

Scope’s analysis reveals that:

  • The number of disabled people in work has risen 5.4 per cent to 3.7m over the last year.
  • 48 per cent of disabled people are in employment, a rise of 1.6 percentage points on the same period last year.
  • The increase in rate of employment of disabled people has outstripped that of the rest of the population, which rose 1 percentage point on the same period last year.
  • But the gap between disabled people’s employment rate and the rest of the population has remained largely static for over a decade – now standing at 31.3 per cent.

Following the election, Scope is looking forward to working with the new Government to achieve a shared ambition of halving the disability employment gap.

Elliot Dunster, group head of policy, research and public affairs at Scope, said:

"In the run up to the election Scope called on all political parties to commit to halving the disability employment gap. We were delighted to see this aim included in the Conservative Party manifesto.

We’d like to congratulate the new minister for disabled people, Justin Tomlinson, and the new minister for employment, Priti Patel, on their roles and we look forward to working with them to achieve our shared aim.

It is hugely positive that the government recognises that supporting disabled people to gain employment and progress in their careers is central to its aim of full employment. 

As the ministers settle into their new roles, today’s figures show an increase in the disability employment rate, which grew faster than that of the rest of the population.
 
However, the disability employment gap has remained largely unchanged over the last decade, at around 30 per cent.

We need to build on today’s good news and halve the disability employment gap."

Ends

For more information and interviews contact Jenna Pudelek in the Scope press office on 0207 619 7155 or jenna.pudelek@scope.org.uk.

Notes to editors:

A recent report published by Scope finds that supporting one million more disabled people to work by 2030 would boost the economy by £45 billion.

It shows the huge benefits to the UK’s economy of a relatively small increase in the disability employment rate.

Breaking down the barriers disabled people face when gaining employment and staying in work is vital to the country’s sustainable economic growth.

The report, Enabling Work: Disabled people, employment and the UK economy, is based on economic modelling by Landman Economics and finds:

  • A 10 percentage point increase in the disability employment rate – the equivalent to supporting 1.1m more disabled people into work – would increase Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by £45 billion by 2030.
  • This would represent 1.7 per cent of total GDP in 2030
  • The Exchequer would gain £12bn through higher tax receipts and lower social security payments
  • Relative poverty among disabled people would fall from 30 per cent to 25 per cent

Scope’s report sets out the changes needed within individual workplaces, employment support services and the wider labour market to support more disabled people to work and achieve their career goals.

It lists four areas that need to be addressed to support more disabled people to find and thrive in work:

  • Improving employer attitudes to disability
  • Improving job retention of disabled people
  • Providing personalised and flexible employment support for disabled people to find work
  • Making sure disabled people are part of regional growth plans

Landman Economics used the Family Resources Survey to model the economic impact of increasing the disability employment rate.

Today’s stats, released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), are based on a different dataset - the Labour Force Survey. This measures employment differently than the Family Resources Survey, therefore, its findings cannot be used to carry out a similar economic analysis.

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