Working-age people with disability are more likely to be unemployed than those without disability. They are also more likely to be unemployed for longer.
How is unemployment defined?
Unemployed people are those who reported in the SDAC that they were not employed during the reference week, and had actively looked for full- or part-time work at any time in the 4 weeks up to the end of the reference week and were available for work in the reference week.
Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers
Data in this section are sourced from the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ (ABS) 2018 Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers (SDAC). The SDAC is the most detailed and comprehensive source of data on disability prevalence in Australia.
The SDAC considers that a person has disability if they have at least one of a list of limitations, restrictions or impairments, which has lasted, or is likely to last, for at least 6 months and restricts everyday activities.
The limitations are grouped into 10 activities associated with daily living – self-care, mobility, communication, cognitive or emotional tasks, health care, reading or writing tasks, transport, household chores, property maintenance, and meal preparation. The SDAC also identifies 2 other life areas in which people may experience restriction or difficulty as a result of disability – schooling and employment.
The severity of disability is defined by whether a person needs help, has difficulty, or uses aids or equipment with 3 core activities – self-care, mobility, and communication – and is grouped for mild, moderate, severe, and profound limitation. People who always or sometimes need help with one or more core activities, have difficulty understanding or being understood by family or friends, or can communicate more easily using sign language or other non-spoken forms of communication are referred to in this section as ‘people with severe or profound disability’.
Working-age (aged 15–64) people with disability are more likely to be unemployed than those without disability. The unemployment rate of working-age people with disability (10% or 113,000) is twice that of those without disability (4.6% or 544,000) (Figure UNEMPLOYMENT.1).
Working-age people with severe or profound disability (13% or 17,000) have a higher unemployment rate than those with other disability (9.9% or 95,000) (Figure UNEMPLOYMENT.1).
The unemployment rate is the sum of the working-age (aged 15–64) population who are unemployed as a percentage of the working-age population participating in the labour force.