THE employment rate for disabled people in Scotland has passed 50% for the first time in almost a decade, fresh statistics show.

Data in the Labour Market Statistics for Scotland by Disability for 2022 shows an estmated 436,400 disabled people were in employment with the rate at 50.7% - up from 49.6% in 2021.

The National: Neil Gray

Wellbeing Economy Secretary Neil Gray said the figures show Scotland is making good progress in its mission to halve the disability employment gap by 2038.

He said: “This confirms significant progress is being made to ensure fairer and more inclusive workplaces across Scotland, building on our ambition to at least halve the disability employment gap by 2038.

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"Our tailored pre-employment and in-work support are helping disabled people get into and remain in work.

“A key Scottish Government target was to increase the employment rate of disabled people to 50% by 2023. The rate reached 50.7% in 2022 – meeting this milestone a year early.

“There is no place for discrimination in society, including workplaces, and we will continue to work closely with disabled people, their representative organisations and employers so their voices and experiences help shape policy and further action to continue closing the disability employment gap in Scotland."

Over the year, the employment rate for disabled people aged 16 to 64 increased in 18 and decreased in 12 of Scotland’s local authority areas.

Two areas saw a statistically significant change with Highland decreasing by 19.6 percentage points to 35.5% and Fife increasing by 12.6 percentage points to 58.2%.

Stats show, however, the employment rate across Scotland was still signifcantly lower than that for non-disabled people, which was recorded as 82.5.%.

The disability employment rate gap - the difference between the employment rates for non-disabled and disabled people - was estimated at 31.9 percentage points.

This has increased by 0.7 percentage points over the year, but has decreased 0.8 percentage points since 2019 (pre-pandemic), so the narrowing of the gap seen prior to the cornavirus crisis seems to be continuing.

Over the longer term, since 2016, the disability employment rate gap has decreased by 5.5 percentage points from 37.4 percentage points to 31.9 percentage points.