Employment rate

Working-age people with disability (48%) have a lower employment rate than those without disability (79%) (Table 1 and Figure 1). Working-age people with severe or profound disability (22%) have a much lower employment rate than those with other disability (57%).

While the overall employment rate for working-age people with disability has remained relatively steady in recent years, it has decreased for those with severe or profound disability (from 27% in 2003 to 22% in 2015) (AIHW 2017).

Working-age females have a lower employment rate than males (Figure 1). This was true for those with disability (45% compared with 51%) and without disability (74% compared with 84%). This is largely related to lower workforce participation among females rather than higher unemployment (see Unemployment).


ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) 2016. Microdata: disability, ageing and carers, Australia, 2015. ABS cat. no. 4430.0.30.002. Canberra: ABS. AIHW analysis of TableBuilder.

AIHW (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare) 2017. Disability in Australia: changes over time in inclusion and participation in employment. Cat. no. DIS 68. Canberra: AIHW. https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/disability/disability-australia-changes-over-time-factsheets/fact-sheets