Unemployment rate

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%) is twice that of those without disability (5.3%) (Figure 1).

Working-age people with severe or profound disability (14%) have a higher unemployment rate than those with other disability (9.5%) (Figure 1).

The unemployment rate for working-age people with disability has increased in recent years. While it remained relatively steady for working-age people without disability (around 5% between 2003 and 2015), it increased slightly for those with disability (8% to 10%), especially for those with severe or profound disability (11% to 14%) (AIHW 2017).

Youth (aged 15–24) with disability (20%) are more likely than those aged 25–64 (8.8%) to be unemployed (Figure 1).

Working-age males with disability (11%) are slightly more likely than their female counterparts (8.3%) to be unemployed (Figure 1).


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.

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.