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Labour force status and work

Labour force status

The labour force includes people who are employed, and those who are unemployed and actively looking for work.

In 2013, half (50 percent) of disabled adults 15 years and over were in the labour force, compared with three-quarters (76 percent) of non-disabled adults. Lower rates of labour force participation by disabled people were evident for both men and women and for all of the three age groups for which data are available (15–44, 45–64, and 65+).

Within both the disabled and non-disabled populations, men had higher rates of labour force participation than women and labour force participation rates fall after the age of 65.

Work and labour force status
Disabled and non-disabled adults aged 15 years and over
2013
Work and labour force status   Disabled  Non-disabled
   Number (000)
 Employed full-time  291 1,415 
 Employed part-time  125 401 
 Total employed  416 1,816 
 Unemployed  42 102 
 Total labour force  457 1,918 
 Not in the labour force  459 612 
 Total working-age population 917  2,530 
   Percent
 Employment rate  45  72
 Unemployment rate  9  5
 Labour force participation rate  50  76

Employment status

Disabled adults were much less likely than non-disabled adults to be employed (45 percent compared with 72 percent). Among those who were employed, disabled adults were less likely than non-disabled adults to work full-time (70 percent compared with 78 percent for non-disabled). These patterns were consistent across both sexes and for each of the main age groups.

Within both the disabled and non-disabled populations, men were more likely than women to be employed, and more likely to be in full-time employment.

Unemployment rates were considerably higher among disabled adults – 9 percent compared with 5 percent for non-disabled adults. Within the disabled population, those aged 15–44 were more likely to be unemployed than those aged 45+ (14 percent compared with 6 percent, respectively).

Occupation

Disabled and non-disabled workers had similar occupational profiles, with professionals and managers were the largest occupational groups for both disabled and non-disabled workers. However, disabled workers were less likely than non-disabled worker to be employed in these occupations: 35 percent of employed disabled people worked in professional or managerial occupations compared with 44 percent of non-disabled.

Disabled people were more likely to work in low-skilled occupations. Labourers and machine operators and drivers made up 21 percent of the employed disabled workforce compared with 15 percent for non-disabled people.

Within the disabled population, men were more likely than women to be employed as:

  • technicians and trades workers (21 percent compared with 5 percent for women)
  • machine operators and drivers (11 percent compared with 3 percent for women)
  • labourers (17 percent compared with 9 percent for women).

Compared with disabled men, disabled women were more likely to be employed as:

  • clerical and administrative workers (21 percent compared with 5 percent for men)
  • community and personal service workers (14 percent compared with 4 percent for men)

These differences between men and women were consistent with those in the non-disabled workforce.

Bar graph showing occupation for employed disabled and non-disabled adults 15 years and over in 2013.  Occupation is on the y axis and percentage on the x axis. Graph shows that disabled and non-disabled workers had similar occupational profiles, with professionals and managers being the largest occupational groups for both disabled and non-disabled workers. However, disabled workers were less likely than non-disabled workers to be employed in these occupations.
 

 

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