Disabled and Unemployed in the UK

Disabled people in the UK are more likely to be unemployed or economically inactive than those without disabilities, and the gap between the two has expanded marginally.

According to the most recent Office of National Statistics data, the disability employment gap remained unchanged in the first quarter of 2023, at 29 percentage points. The disability employment gap describes the disparity in employment rates between disabled and non-disabled people.

Despite the fact that the number of disabled individuals in the United Kingdom increased in the first quarter of 2023 compared to the same quarter in 2022, according to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) Labour Force Survey.

Disabled people had an economic inactive rate of 42.7%, nearly triple that of non-disabled people (14.3%).

The unemployment rate for disabled individuals fell to 6.2% from 6.6% the previous year, but it remained about double that of non-disabled people, at 3.4%.

 Disabled people had an employment rate of 53.7%, which was unchanged from the previous year, compared to the employment rate of non-disabled people, which was about 30% higher at 82.7%, up slightly from 81.9%.

From January to March, 9.58 million people of working age (16 to 64) reported being disabled, accounting for 23% of the working-age population. This represents a nearly 600,000 rise from the previous year. 5.15 million were employed, up 325,000 from the previous year, 4.09 million were economically inactive, up 273,000 from the previous year, and 342,000 were unemployed.

Many disabled people want to work. We may need accommodations to do our jobs. However, disabled people can be wonderful assets in the workplace.


Midaye, Marion. “The Disability Employment Gap Remains Unchanged.” South West Londoner, 17 July 2023, http://www.swlondoner.co.uk/news/17072023-the-disability-employment-gap-remains-unchanged.

Powell, Andrew. “Disabled People in Employment – House of Commons Library.” The House of Commons Library, 19 June 2023, commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/cbp-7540/.

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