Enabling work

OECD Observer

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One in seven people of working age in OECD countries claims to have a long-term health problem which limits their activities of daily living. This is a resource OECD countries can ill afford to see go to waste given population ageing and potential labour shortages in the future, a new report says.

The latest edition of Society at a Glance for the first time includes unemployment and income indicators for the disabled. These show that in more than half of OECD countries, between 40% and 50% of disabled people of working age are in employment, and in Switzerland and Norway, the figure is as high as 60%.

This compares with an average OECD employment rate among non-disabled people of around 70%. But in Spain and Poland, barely 20% of disabled people of working age have a job. And once disabled workers reach the age of 50 they are far more likely than the non-disabled to be out of work, with the employment rate only about half that of the non-disabled, another new study found.

Transforming Disability into Ability: Policies to Promote Work and Income Security for Disabled People shows that about 35% of disabled people in the 50-64 age group in OECD countries receive retirement benefits, and in Italy and Sweden more disabled people in this age group receive retirement benefits than unemployment or disability benefits.

©OECD Observer No 236, March 2003




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