Department of Labor Logo United States Department of Labor
Dot gov

The .gov means it's official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you're on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

19.1 percent of people with a disability were employed in 2021

March 01, 2022

The employment–population ratio—the percentage of the population that is employed—for people with a disability was 19.1 percent in 2021. That was an increase of 1.2 percentage points from 2020. The ratio for those without a disability, at 63.7 percent in 2021, increased by 1.9 percentage points over the year. Data for both groups reflect the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the labor market.

Employment–population ratios by disability status, 2009–21
Year People with a disability People with no disability


19.2% 64.5%


18.6 63.5


17.8 63.6


17.8 63.9


17.6 64.0


17.1 64.6


17.5 65.0


17.9 65.3


18.7 65.7


19.1 65.9


19.3 66.3


17.9 61.8


19.1 63.7

The lower ratio among people with a disability reflects, in part, the older age profile of people with a disability; older people are less likely to be employed regardless of disability status.

Percent distribution of employed by disability status and class of worker, 2021
Disability status Private industries Government Self-employed, unincorporated

People with a disability

76.5% 13.9% 9.6%

People with no disability

80.0 13.6 6.4

A larger share of workers with a disability were self-employed in 2021 than were those with no disability (9.6 percent versus 6.4 percent). In contrast, a smaller share of workers with a disability were private wage and salary workers (76.5 percent) than were those without a disability (80.0 percent). The proportion employed in government was about the same for people with a disability (13.9 percent) and people without a disability (13.6 percent).

These data are from the Current Population Survey. Data are for people in the civilian noninstitutional population age 16 and older. To learn more, see “Persons with a Disability: Labor Force Characteristics – 2021.”


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, 19.1 percent of people with a disability were employed in 2021 at (visited November 28, 2022).