Individual Characteristics and the Disability Employment Gap

Academic Article


  • Although people with disabilities have poorer employment outcomes, on average, than do people without disabilities, some of them fare relatively well in the labor market. To learn more about the individual characteristics associated with positive employment outcomes among people with disabilities, we use data from the 2009–2011 American Community Survey to examine differences in employment outcomes by demographic and other individual characteristics in a multivariable framework. Controlling for all other individual characteristics, we find the employment gap between individuals with and without disabilities is smaller among those in their 20s and 60s relative to the middle aged, Asians relative to Whites, Hispanics relative to non-Hispanics, married individuals, individuals with higher levels of educational attainment, and women. Overall, results suggest that policies and practices designed to improve employment outcomes among people with disabilities should consider how individual characteristics interact with disability as challenges to or facilitators of employment success.
  • Authors

  • Sevak, Purvi
  • Houtenville, Andrew
  • Brucker, Debra
  • O'Neill, John
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • September 2015
  • Has Subject Area

    Published In


  • disability
  • employment
  • labor supply
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Start Page

  • 80
  • End Page

  • 88
  • Volume

  • 26
  • Issue

  • 2