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Fact sheet: Employing People with Disabilities

Did you know?

  • As of 2015, more than 685,000 British Columbians live with physical, mental or developmental disability—close to 15% of the B.C.’s population of 4.6 million.[i]
  • There are approximately 334,000 people in B.C., aged 15 to 64 who self-identify as having a disability.
  • In British Columbia people with a disability are employed at a rate of 48.4% compared to 70.2% for those without disability.[ii]
  • With close to one million job openings expected in the province by 2022, people with disabilities represent an important employee talent pool.
  • 33% of individuals aged 25 to 34 with a severe or very severe disability said they had been refused a job in the past five years because of their condition.[iii]
  • More than two-thirds of working people with disabilities work only part-time and/or part-year.[iv]
  • Between 70% to 90% of people identified as having a mental illness are not working. [v]
  • People with developmental and psychiatric disabilities have trouble accessing any employment at all. [vi]

[i] Government of Canada, Employment and Social Development Canada, Canadians in Context - People with Disabilities (Ottawa, ON: September 1, 2015) .

[ii] Statistics Canada, Canadian Survey on Disability.

[iii] Statistics Canada, “Study: Persons with disabilities and employment”, The Daily Statistics Canada, Catalogue 11-001-X (December 3, 2014)

[iv] Cohen et al., Removing Barriers.

[v] Canadian Education and Research Institute for Counselling, “Career Services Guide: Supporting People Affected by Mental Health Issues” (May 26, 2015)

[vi] Cohen et al., Removing Barriers.