Earnings and Demographic Variations among Vocational Rehabilitation Occupational Closure: Patterns and Trends 2008-2012

Libin Zhang, University of Massachusetts at Boston
Ngai Kwan, University of Massachusetts at Boston
Kartik Trivedi, University of Massachusetts at Boston
May-Lorie St Laurent , University of Massachusetts at Boston
Kelly Haines, University of Massachusetts at Boston
Susan Foley, University of Massachusetts at Boston

Advancing the positive employment and earning outcomes of people with disabilities is imperative. People with disabilities have lagged labor participation than those without disabilities, and this disparity is increasing. The patterns of employment and earnings, as well as their variations by demographic characteristics among people with disabilities remains poorly understood. Using data from the Rehabilitation Services Administration’s (RSA) Case Service Report , we determined general patterns of occupations at Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) case closure and evaluated demographic characteristics of VR occupational closure. Then we studied the earning trends and differentials by demographic, disability and educational attainments. We have found that overtime, occupational patterns are consistent, and that demographic variations by occupation patterns are significant. Median hourly wage varies significantly by occupation, demographic characteristics, and are strongly related to level of education. These findings have important implications for VR researchers, practitioners, and for people with disabilities seeking better employment outcomes.

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Presented in Session 179: Demography of Disability among Persons of Working Ages