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Employment - research and statistics

How many adults with a learning disability have a paid job?

Adults in paid employment, by location:

England

  • 5.1% of adults with a learning disability known to their local authority in England are in paid work (NHS Digital, 2021).
  • The proportion of adults with a learning disability in paid employment varies by region.
  • London (7%) and the South East (6.9%) have the highest proportion of adults with a learning disability known to their local authority in paid employment, followed by Yorkshire and the Humber (6.3%; NHS Digital 2020).
  • In England, a higher proportion of men with a learning disability known to their local authority (6.2%) are in paid employment than women with a learning disability known to their local authority (4.8%; NHS Digital 2020).

Infographic showing employment in England statistics

Scotland

  • 4.1% of adults with a learning disability known to their local authority in Scotland were in employment in 2019 (SCLD 2019).

Wales

  • The Welsh government does not publish data on how many people with a learning disability in Wales are in paid work. However, the Labour Force Survey (LFS) provides data on the economic activity of people in Wales aged 16-64 who have a disability according to the Equality Act 2010 definition of disability.
  • The LFS found that 47.8% of adults with a disability in Wales were employed in 2020, compared to 80.2% of people who were not disabled (StatsWales, 2020).

Northern Ireland

  • The Northern Irish government does not publish data on how many people with a learning disability in Northern Ireland are in paid work. However, the LFS provides data on the economic activity of people in Northern Ireland aged 16-64 who describe themselves as having a long-term disability (NISRA, 2021).
  • The LFS found that 38.9% of people with a disability in Northern Ireland were employed in 2020, compared to 78.4% of people who were not disabled (NISRA, 2021).

Infographic showing employment statistics in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

1 Mencap ran a survey with 1625 adults (aged 18+) with a learning disability in the UK. Responses were collected between January and July 2019 using a paper-based questionnaire and an online questionnaire.

References

NHS Digital (2021). Measures from the Adult Social Care Outcomes Framework, England - 2020-21

Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (2021). Quarterly Labour Force Survey Tables

Office for National Statistics (2019). Disability and employment, UK: 2019  

Office for National Statistics (2021). Employment in the UK: January 2021  

SCLD (2019). Learning Disability Statistics Scotland, 2019

StatsWales (2020). Summary of economic activity by area and disabled status

 

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