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People With Disabilities Returning To Workforce

Employee with disability working on computer while supervisor looks on

[Photo: Wall Street Journal]

Americans with disabilities have historically had difficulties finding and keeping jobs. However, there has been a spike the last few years in hiring people with disabilities, thanks to a tight job market with a low overall unemployment rate.

This low rate, just 3.9% as of December 2018 (just higher than the lowest level since 1969), has forced employers to be creative about whom they hire. This has led to more people with disabilities being hired, people who generally were less likely to be hired in the past because of their conditions.

Another factor in the recent spike is that Social Security disability benefits have become harder to access, due to an investigation in 2011 because judges were accepting Social Security applications at unusually high rates. Because Social Security disability benefits have served as a form of unemployment insurance, the decrease in access has caused more people with disabilities to pursue employment, and has relieved some of the pressure on the Social Security disability program.

One of the many benefits of hiring people with disabilities, according to Nathan Mort who has autism, is that having a job and making your own money “makes you feel more worth something.” Who doesn’t want that?

Go to to read the full article on this topic, which includes real-world examples. You need a Wall Street Journal subscription to view the whole article.

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