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South Dakota Employment Rate for People with Disabilities Highest in the Nation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, February 25th, 2016
Contact: Dan Hoblick, Department of Human Services, 773-5990 or Daniel.Hoblick@state.sd.us


South Dakota Employment Rate for People with Disabilities Highest in the Nation


Pierre, S.D. – According to the recently released 2015 Disability Statistics Annual Report, South Dakota has the highest employment rate for people with disabilities at 50.1 percent.


Department of Human Services Secretary Gloria Pearson said, “Employment for people with disabilities is one of the prime initiatives of the department and we are pleased to see these statistics.”


In 2014, 34.4 percent of U.S. civilians with disabilities ages 18-64 living in the community were employed, compared to 75.4 percent for people without disabilities – a gap of 41 percentage points. There is state variation in the rates of employment for persons with disabilities, from South Dakota’s high of 50.1 percent to a low of 25.6 percent. For people without disabilities, state rates ranged from 83.9 percent to 70.4 percent.


The 2015 Disability Statistics Annual Report is a companion volume to the 2015 Annual Disability Statistics Compendium.


Gov. Dennis Daugaard announced his Employment Works initiative in the spring of 2013 and established a task force with the goal of making South Dakota an “employment first” state for people with disabilities. Under that initiative, the Department of Human Services has been focused on increasing the employment of people with disabilities. 


About DHS

The South Dakota Department of Human Services’ mission is to enhance the quality of life of people with disabilities, in partnership with its stakeholders, through the programs and services offered by its divisions. Learn more by visiting the department’s website, dhs.sd.gov, and viewing the DHS Strategic Plan.