Labour force survey and people with sight loss 2011

Title: Investigation of data relating to blind and visually impaired people in the Quarterly Labour Force Survey 2011

Authors: Rachel Hewett with Graeme Douglas, Publisher: RNIB, Year of publication: 2011


The statistics presented in this report provide the results of an analysis of data from the quarterly Labour Force Survey (LFS) that was carried out for RNIB by researchers from Birmingham university. The report provides statistics on the economic activity of people of working age who through self report are defined as long term disabled with a seeing difficulty. The procedure for categorising respondents' disabilities was the same as that used by Meager and Carta (2008) in their report for RNIB ‘Labour market experiences of people with seeing difficulties’. The statistics presented provide information about the estimated proportion of people long term disabled with seeing difficulty who were employed or who were economically inactive. The data that are presented cover specific quarters January to March and July to September 2010, and because of the small sample size, the data have also been aggregated over 12 quarters from October 2007 to September 2010.

Key findings

Over 8 quarters from July-September 2008 to July-September 2010 the proportion of people long term disabled with a seeing difficulty in employment has dropped by 5.1 compared with a 1.7 reduction in employment rates in the general population

The following statistics are based on data aggregated over 12 quarters to the end of September 2010:

The proportions of people in employment (including self employed) were:   

  • 48.8 - Long term disabled with a seeing difficulty    
  • 50.1 - Other long term disabled    
  • 78.4 - Not disabled    
  • 73 - All people of working age

The proportions of people ILO unemployed were:   

  • 7.3 long term disabled with a seeing difficulty    
  • 5.7 other long term disabled    
  • 5.5 not disabled    
  • 5.5 all people of working age People long term disabled with a seeing difficulty were more likely than other groups to be unemployed for 12 months or more