Disabled Australians and their carers still face employment barriers
June 21, 2012
A report compiled by the COAG Reform Council indicates that Australians who have disabilities still face significant barriers to gainful employment.
Research results show that in 2009, the employment rate among disabled Australians was 50 percent. By comparison, 79 percent of individuals without a disability had jobs. Workforce participation rates for these populations were 54 and 83 percent, respectively.
"It would have been good to report some solid gains between 2003 and 2009, but in the area of workforce participation, there was very little improvement for people with disability and that was despite an improving labor market," Paul McClintock, chairman of the council, said in a statement.
Out of the whole country, both employment rates and workforce participation were higher with Western Australia, the Northern Territory and the ACT. Western Australia was the only place that saw actual improvements between 2003 and 2009.
Employment proved to be even more difficult for Australians who were classified as having a severe or profound disability. Other results suggested that one-third of disabled people reported needing more formal assistance.
Meanwhile, caretakers of the disabled saw improvement in workplace participation rates. However, these figures are still lower than those of people who are not caretakers.