John A. Rigg
Published November 2005
Considerable cross-sectional evidence has highlighted the lower employment rates and earnings amongst disabled people in Britain. But very little is known about the progression of disabled people in employment. This study uses data from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) to examine the labour market progression of disabled people in Britain along several dimensions: earnings growth, low-pay transition probabilities, changes in labour market participation, the rate of training and the rate of upward occupational mobility. The analysis also explores the extent of heterogeneity in the labour market progression of disabled people with respect to differences in age, education, occupation and disability severity. The evidence indicates that the earnings trajectories of disabled people lag behind those for non-disabled people, especially for men. The median annual change in earnings is 1.4 percent lower for disabled men and 0.6 percent lower for disabled women compared to non-disabled men and women respectively. Moreover, disabled people are approximately three times more likely to exit work than their non-disabled counterparts, a difference that increases markedly for more-severely disabled people. The evidence highlights the need for policy to tackle the barriers that disabled people face in the workplace, not merely in access to jobs.