The economic position of disabled people is often summarised by comparing their overall employment rate with that of non-disabled people. But the average figure masks a very wide range of variation in the prospects faced by individual disabled people – immensely wider than the range for the population as a whole. The severity of their impairments is a crucial influence, but the Labour Force Survey makes no attempt to measure it. Disabled people are also sensitive to other disadvantaging factors such as age and poor qualifications. More detailed consideration needs to be given to what distinguishes between those disabled people who are, and are not, in work.
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