National Trends in Disability Employment (nTIDE) – published biannually by the Kessler Foundation and the University of New Hampshire

East Hanover, NJ. May 21, 2021. The number of vacation workers declined in March and April following today’s COVID update of the National Trends in Disability Employment (nTIDE). For people with and without disabilities, temporary layoffs fell to their lowest level since the impact of the April 2020 pandemic.

This mid-month nTIDE follows two key indicators of unemployment: vacation or layoffs and the number of job seekers, comparing trends for people with and without disabilities. The recovery pattern is very different from that of the Great Recession, when the economic downturn separated workers from their employers. The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in an unprecedented increase in vacation days and job seekers, prompting the addition of this nTIDE COVID update towards the middle of the month.

The consecutive monthly declines are a positive sign, according to economist Andrew Houtenville, PhD, director of research for the Institute for Disability at the University of New Hampshire and co-author of nTIDE. “This could be an early sign of recovery,” he commented. “When COVID infections decline and economic activity picks up, people will return to work.”

“We haven’t seen much fluctuations in the percentage of job seekers since last fall,” noted Dr. Houtenville, “which could suggest that the job market is tougher for people who have not kept in touch with their employers.”

While these data are encouraging, Dr. As a caution, Houtenville referred to the graphs for unemployment trends for April 2021. “The huge spikes in unemployment in April 2020 are slowly disappearing and are still far from reaching pre-pandemic levels,” he added, “and many people are looking for work. The signs of chronic unemployment remain a matter of concern. “


Every nTIDE publication is followed by an nTIDE Lunch & Learn webinar with analyzes by Dr. Houtenville and O’Neill and invited guests from the disabled community. Register for the next month’s nTIDE webinars: June 4, 2021 nTIDE job report and our COVID update from June 18, 2021 at https: //.Research /At home/ntide

This COVID update is an additional edition of National Trends in Disability Employment (nTIDE), a collaborative effort between the Kessler Foundation and the Institute for Disability at the University of New Hampshire, led by Dr. Houtenville and John O’Neill, PhD, co-authored by the Kessler Foundation. The nTIDE team closely monitors job numbers and publishes bi-monthly nTIDE reports as the labor market continues to reflect the numerous challenges posed by the pandemic.

Funding: Kessler Foundation and National Institute for Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) (90RT5037)

About the Kessler Foundation

The Kessler Foundation, a large, nonprofit in the disability field, is a world leader in rehabilitation research aimed at improving the perception, mobility, and long-term outcomes – including employment – of people with neurological disabilities who through Diseases and injuries are caused to the brain and spinal cord. The Kessler Foundation is a nationwide leader in funding innovative programs that expand employment opportunities for people with disabilities. More information is available at

Via the Department of Disability at the University of New Hampshire

The Institute for Disability (IOD) at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) was founded in 1987 to provide a coherent university focus on improving knowledge, policies and practices related to the lives of people with disabilities and their families. Information on the NIDILRR-funded Employment Policy and Measurement Rehabilitation Research and Training Center can be found at

Interested in trends in employment with disabilities? Contact Carolann Murphy to schedule an interview with our experts: [email protected]


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