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Hispanic Workers with Disabilities in the Labor Force

Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 marks National Hispanic Heritage Month, an annual celebration of Hispanic Americans’ contributions to America’s history, culture and ongoing progress as a nation. These contributions include many from Hispanic Americans with disabilities. In honor of the month, researchers in our Office of Disability Employment Policy recently took a deep dive into workforce data on Hispanic Americans’ representation in various industries and occupations. This is the latest in an ongoing series of data snapshots about different subgroups of disabled people; previous snapshots explored Black workers with disabilities, Women with disabilities and Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders with Disabilities.   

Note: The Current Population Survey uses the terms Hispanic, Latino and Spanish interchangeably. This blog post includes anyone of Hispanic, Latino or Spanish origin. 

Nearly 2.4 million working-age Hispanic adults (ages 16 to 64) in the United States have a disability. 

Breakdown of working-age Hispanic Adults in the United States, ages 16 to 24, with and without disabilities. Approximately 37.4 million adults in this group do not have a disability, but nearly 2.4 million of this group have at least one disability. Of that 2.4 million, 1.01 million have difficulty with two or more categories (i.e., cognitive, ambulatory, hearing, vision, errands or self-care).
Two pie charts displaying the breakdown of working-age Hispanic adults in the United States, ages 16 to 64, with and without disabilities. The first pie chart shows that approximately 37.4 million adults in this category do not have a disability, but nearly 2.4 million of this group have at least one disability. The second pie chart is a breakdown of the disability types. Of that 2.4 million, approximately 423,000 have a cognitive difficulty, 387,000 have an ambulatory difficulty, 227,000 have difficulty with hearing, 221,000 have difficulty with vision, 105,000 have difficulty with errands or self-care, and 1.01 million have difficulty with two or more of these categories.

Includes civilian, non-institutionalized, Hispanic adults ages 16 to 64. We consider a person answering “yes” to any one of the six difficulty questions (hearing difficulty, vision difficulty, cognitive difficulty, ambulatory difficulty, self-care difficulty and independent living difficulty) to have a disability.
Source: Authors’ calculations using the Current Population Survey 2021, annual averages.

Hispanic women and men with disabilities (age 16+) are present in all stages of working life, with the highest numbers among workers age 55+.

Bar chart illustrating that Hispanic women and men in the United States with disabilities (age 16+) represent all stages of working life, with highest numbers among workers age 55+. Between ages 16-24, approximately 166,000 Hispanic women have a disability, whereas 182,000 men have a disability. As age increases, the number of Hispanic men and women with disabilities generally increases, with the largest number of Hispanic men and women with disabilities is in the 75+ age category, where approximately 525,000 Hispanic women have a disability and 286,000 Hispanic men have a disability.
Bar chart illustrating that Hispanic women and men in the United States with disabilities (age 16+) represent all stages of working life, with highest numbers among older workers (age 55+). Between ages 16-24, approximately 166,000 Hispanic women have a disability, whereas 182,000 men have a disability. As age increases, the number of Hispanic men and women with disabilities also increases, with the largest increases starting from age 55+. The largest number of Hispanic men and women with disabilities is in the 75+ age category, where approximately 525,000 Hispanic women have disabilities and 286,000 Hispanic men have disabilities.

Includes civilian, non-institutionalized Hispanic adults with disabilities ages 16+.
Source: Authors’ calculations using the Current Population Survey 2021, annual averages.

Approximately 1.1 million Hispanic adults with disabilities (age 16+) are currently working or want to work.

Graphic illustrating that approximately 1.1 million Hispanic adults with disabilities (age 16+) are currently working or want to work. For those employed, categories are broken down by full-time and part-time. Approximately 622,000 Hispanic adults with disabilities ages 16+ are working full-time and 199,000 are working part-time.  Additionally, 127,000 are currently looking for work and 128,000 are currently not seeking work but want a job.
Graphic illustrating that approximately 1.1 million Hispanic adults with disabilities (age 16+) are currently working or want to work. For those employed, categories are broken down by full-time and part-time. Approximately 622,000 are working full-time and 199,000 are working part-time. Additionally, 127,000 are currently looking for work and 128,000 are currently not seeking work but want a job.

Includes civilian, non-institutionalized, Hispanic adults with disabilities ages 16+.
Source: Authors’ calculations using the Current Population Survey 2021, annual averages.
 

748,000 disabled Hispanic workers (age 16+) hold wage and salary jobs in the public, private or non-profit sectors, while 74,000 are self-employed.  

Pie chart showing that 748,000 Hispanic workers with disabilities (age 16+) hold wage and salary jobs in the public, private or non-profit sectors, while 74,000 Hispanic adults with disabilities (age 16+) are self-employed. 
Pie chart showing the breakdown of disabled Hispanic workers (age 16+) that are employed by sector. 601,000 are working in the for-profit sector, 45,000 are working in non-profit sector, 102,000 are working in public sector, and 74,000 are self-employed.  

Includes civilian, non-institutionalized, Hispanic workers with disabilities ages 16+. The self-employed are those who work for profit or fees in their own businesses, professions, trades or farms. Unless otherwise specified, CPS estimates of the self-employed published by BLS reflect only people whose businesses are unincorporated. In most CPS estimates, self-employed individuals working in incorporated businesses are classified as wage and salary workers because, technically, the incorporated self-employed are paid employees of their corporation.  
Source: Authors’ calculations using the Current Population Survey 2021, annual averages. 

Hispanic adults with disabilities (age 16+) work in a range of industries, with the largest numbers in education and healthcare. They also hold a variety of occupations, including managerial positions, medical professions, retail, production and teaching.  

Graphic showing the industries of employment and occupation types of Hispanic Adults with disabilities (age 16+), with most working in education & healthcare (164,000) trade (115,000) and leisure & hospitality (110,000). The industries with the fewest are financial activities and public administration (38,000 each).
Graphic showing that Hispanic adults with disabilities (age 16+) work in a range of industries. 164,000 work in education and healthcare; 115,000 in trade; 110,000 in leisure and hospitality; 106,000 in professional and business services; 69,000 in other; 68,000 in construction; 61,000 in manufacturing; 53,000 in transportation and utilities; and 38,000 each in financial services and public administration. 

Includes civilian, non-institutionalized, Hispanic adults with disabilities ages 16+.  
Source: Authors’ calculations using the Current Population Survey 2021, annual averages. 
Graphic showing types of occupations held by disabled Hispanic adults with most working in managerial positions (73,000) and medical occupations (61,000), and the least working in teaching occupations (21,000).    
Graphic showing that 73,000 disabled Hispanic adults (age 16+) work in managerial occupations, 61,000 work in medical occupations, 54,000 work in both retail and production occupations, and 21,000 work in teaching occupations. 
 
Notes: Includes civilian, non-institutionalized, Hispanic adults with disabilities ages 16+.  
Source: Authors’ calculations using the Current Population Survey 2021, annual averages. 

The Office of Disability Employment Policy promotes policies and coordinates with employers and all levels of government to increase workplace success for people with disabilities. ODEP's mission is to develop and influence policies and practices that increase the number and quality of employment opportunities for people with disabilities. For more information please visit: dol.gov/odep

 

Jackson Costa and David Rosenblum are both senior economists in the department’s Office of Disability Employment Policy. 

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