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1370.0 - Measures of Australia's Progress, 2010  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 15/09/2010   
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Work

PEOPLE WITH A DISABILITY

People with a disability generally experience lower levels of employment than other Australians. This can affect their self-esteem, their level of engagement with the wider community and can have a financial impact on individuals and their families.

In 2003, there were 4 million Australians with a disability, accounting for 20% of the total population. The rate of disability within the population was similar for men and women.

Among Australians aged 15-64 years in 2003, those with a disability had a lower labour force participation rate (53%), and a higher unemployment rate (8.6%) than other Australians of the same age (81% and 5.0%, respectively). Women with a disability were less likely to participate in the labour force (47%) than men (59%).

Overall, the participation rate of people with a disability remained steady from 1998 to 2003. However, there was a fall in the participation of people with a severe or profound core activity limitation, and an increase in the participation rate for others with a disability (see the glossary for the definition of severe or profound core activity limitation).

Some people with disabilities experience employment restrictions such as being unable to work, being restricted in the types or hours of work they can do, or needing special assistance in the workplace. People with disabilities who had an employment restriction were far less likely to participate in the labour force (45%) than those without an employment restriction (72%). In 2003, of the 1.5 million people who had a disability and an employment restriction, 39% reported being permanently unable to work.

Participation and unemployment among disability groups(a) - 2003

Participation rate
Unemployment rate
%
%

Total persons aged 15–64 years
76.0
5.4
No reported disability
80.6
5.0
All with disability(b)
53.2
8.6
All with disability but with no employment restriction
71.8
4.7
All with specific restrictions or limitations
47.7
9.9
Schooling or employment restriction
44.9
11.5
Employment restriction
45.0
11.3
Core activity limitation(c)
43.0
8.2
Mild
50.6
7.7
Moderate
47.9
7.6
Severe
35.8
9.5
Profound
15.2
*13.9

* estimate has a relative standard error of 25% to 50% and should be used with caution
(a) Limited to persons aged 15-64 years living in households.
(b) Includes those who do not have a specific limitation or restriction.
(c) Core activities comprise communication, mobility and self care.
Source: ABS Disability, Ageing and Carers: Summary of Findings, Australia, 2003 (cat. no. 4430.0)

 

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