Document Type

Fact Sheet

Publication Date



Employment is one of the most significant markers of independence and success for a person. One’s ability to secure and maintain employment in a paid position can have a significant impact on their overall quality of life, community participation, financial self-sufficiency, and pathway to a long-lasting career. Unfortunately, the paid employment rate for youth and adults with a disability remains markedly lower than their peers without a disability. Our understanding of national employment trends and outcomes for youth with disabilities has been heavily informed by the National Longitudinal Transition Study (NLTS) and NLTS2, with data gathered in 1987–1991 and 2001–2009 respectively. The National Longitudinal Transition Study 2012 (NLTS 2012) dataset offers an updated look at employment of youth in 7th–12th grade with data gathered in 2012–2013. Using the NLTS 2012 data, we examined employment in the past 12 months of youth with intellectual disability (ID) and autism (collectively referred to here as ID/A) compared to other populations of youth with and without disabilities.


University of Massachusetts Boston



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