The Employment of People with Intellectual Disabilities in Canada: A Statistical Profile

About the study

This study examined employment and labour market statistics for people with intellectual disabilities in Canada. Using Statistics Canada’s Participation and Activity Limitation Survey (2006), the study analyzed employment outcomes of people with intellectual disabilities by demography and labour market activities, and further compared the results to that of people with other disabilities. The study provided an overview of the labour market performance of working-age people with intellectual disabilities, and further made recommendations based on the findings to improve their employment outcomes.

 

What can be learned from this study?

• British Columbia (0.7 percent) had higher ‘concentrations’ of people with intellectual disabilities than Alberta and Quebec (both at 0.5 percent) but lower concentration compared to Saskatchewan (0.9 percent).

• Largest proportion of people with intellectual disabilities was found in 15-24 age group (29.3 percent), whereas 55-64 age group had 14.9 percent of working-age people with intellectual disabilities.

• Vast majority of people with intellectual disabilities (88.8 percent) indicated that they required assistance from others in daily activities.

• Only 15.4 percent of people with intellectual disabilities had post-secondary education, while 65.7 percent with intellectual disabilities did not have any educational certification.

• Most people with intellectual disabilities (72.5 percent) reported that their condition affected their career choice.

• 41.8 percent of people with intellectual disabilities received work-related training; however, 25 percent reported that the training they received was insufficient and discouraged them from looking for work.

• On-the-job training was most common among people with intellectual disabilities compared to classroom-based training.

• More than half of people with intellectual disabilities reported experiencing barriers to training, especially the cost.

• Compared to people with physical disabilities (52.7 percent), people with intellectual disabilities were much less likely to be employed (26.1 percent). Only 15.5 percent of people with intellectual disabilities in 15-24 age group were employed compared to 49.8 percent for people with physical disabilities.

• People with intellectual disabilities earned $18,172 on average, while people with other disabilities earned $29,669.

• People with intellectual disabilities were more likely to be employed in sales and service occupations than those with other disabilities. Many people with intellectual disabilities also worked in manufacturing and trades.

• 65.1 percent of people with intellectual disabilities required accommodation or support at work, particularly in job redesign and modified work hours, compared to 44.8 percent for people with other disabilities. However, much of the needs were not met.

• People with intellectual disabilities were more likely to report that it was very difficult to change jobs or advance in their current job.

 

What method(s) did the study use?

Analysis of Statistics Canada’s Participation and Activity Limitation Survey (2006)