Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Union, released a study this Tuesday, on the eve of the International Day for the Disabled. According to the study, only 47.3% of disabled people have a job, compared to 66.9% of non-disabled people. Belgium is below the European average: its employment rate is 40.7% for disabled people. The Eurostat study is based on data for 2011. It found that in all European Union countries, for people aged 15-64, the employment rate was higher for non-disabled than for disabled people, back in 2011.
Hungary (23.7%) and Ireland (29.8%) have the lowest employment rates for disabled people. Conversely, the highest rates are found in Sweden (66.2%) and Luxembourg (62.5%). Belgium is slightly below the European average, at 40.7%. Eurostat found that Hungary is the European country where disabled people are the least represented on the labour market – either in absolute or relative numbers.
The difference in employment rate between disabled (23.7%) and non-disabled people (61.1%) therefore stands at 37.4 points. If this difference is taken into account, then the Netherlands are also setting a bad example to their European neighbours. Despite a significant absolute rate of 42.7% of disabled people in employment, there is a 37.4 percentage point difference compared to non-disabled people (80.1%).
The European average is a 19.6 percentage point difference. In Belgium, the figure stands at 25.7 points.
Oscar Schneider (Source: Belga)