§ 26. Sir David Price
asked the Secretary of State for Employment what was the average number of disabled workers for each of the last five years; how many, and what percentage, were unemployed; and how the unemployment record of the disabled compares with that of the able-bodied.
§ Mr. Alan Clark
There is no reliable information available on the overall number of disabled workers.
Figures for unemployed disabled people are as follows:
Numbers March 1980 139,874 March 1981 175,148 March 1982 193,723
From October 1982 figures are available only for those disabled people who choose to register for employment at jobcentres and careers offices. The figures are:
Numbers March 1983 184,887 March 1984 100,792
It is not possible to calculate a reliable percentage rate of unemployment for disabled people. There is evidence to suggest that disabled people are more likely to keep their existing jobs than able-bodied workers. However, the evidence suggests that, once unemployed, they are likely to remin unemployed significantly longer than able-bodied people, although other factors such as age and level of skill are likely to have an important influence on this situation.