2014 Job Outlook for People with Disabilities

2014 Job Outlook

Candidates with disabilities and the organizations recruiting them won’t be disappointed in the 2014 job market. Recruiters will have a large group of interested candidates to consider and candidates should see more advertised positions.

The Majority of Candidates with Disabilities Are Searching for Jobs

Organizations actively recruiting people with disabilities (PWD) shouldn’t have a difficult time finding candidates to consider their positions. GettingHired conducted a survey of 328 job seekers with disabilities in late 2013. Results showed that 72% of employed people with disabilities will look for a new job in 2014. That number increases to 87% when including people with disabilities who are currently unemployed or on disability leave.

Fifty-eight percent of job seekers with disabilities are looking for a full-time job, 36% want a part-time job and 6% are seeking a temporary position. Contingent work can be a beneficial way for employers and employees to try each other out as well as a bridge to permanent employment. While only 6% of candidates with disabilities are looking for a temporary job, 73% would be open to one and an additional 17% would be open to a temporary assignment if there were the possibility of the position becoming full-time.

Job boards are the most popular resource for candidates with disabilities, with 88% searching for positions via general and disability-specific job boards. Other top resources include corporate websites, personal networks (friends and family) and disability service providers.

New Regulations, More Opportunity

Recent OFCCP rulings on new regulations for Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) will contribute to an increase in hiring of people with disabilities in 2014. Section 503 sets a national utilization goal of 7% for employment of individuals with disabilities for each job group within a federal contractor's workforce (or 7% of the total workforce if the federal contractor has less than 100 employees). OFCCP estimates federal contractors will hire an additional 594,000 individuals with disabilities and 84,000 veterans with disabilities in the coming years.

Demand for qualified candidates with disabilities will increase in 2014. Given the high number (72%) of PWD considering a new job, employers would be wise to examine their talent management strategies in 2014, including on the job training and focus on employee engagement, to ensure retention of their existing workers with disabilities

Each year, more and more employers commit to diversity and disability hiring initiatives. Along with the expected increase in hiring from federal contractors, that means more employers focused on hiring and retaining PWD. This will translate to more job postings and more opportunities for PWD. With a workforce poised to take advantage of those opportunities, 2014 should prove a productive year for both PWD and their potential future employers.