The sputtering economy has fueled those ranks. Around 5.3 percent of the population between the ages of 25 and 64 is currently collecting federal disability payments, a jump from 4.5 percent since the economy slid into a recession.
Mental-illness claims, in particular, are surging.
During the recent economic boom, only 33 percent of applicants were claiming mental illness, but that figure has jumped to 43 percent, says Rutledge, citing preliminary results from his latest research.
The jump in successful disability claims also is making the unemployment picture look extra rosy because those folks are falling off the jobless rolls.
“If they’re on disability they’re generally not counted,” says Feroli, who estimates that a quarter of those dropping out of the job market are getting disability. “It’s no trivial number.”
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Disability and Unemployment: