10 most common disabilities for job seekers in 2020 revealed

Published on 01 Dec 2020

  • ​3 ways to better support people with disability
  • 97% of employers benefit from hiring people with disability

Mental health conditions and spinal disorders were the most common forms of disability amongst Australian job seekers in 2020.

This year, APM Employment Services has registered more than 62,000 eligible job seekers who are living with an injury, illness or disability, for the Disability Employment Services program.

Almost 5,700 of these job seekers had depression diagnosed as their eligible health condition for the government-funded program delivered by APM across Australia.

Spinal disorders were the second most-common disability, with more than 5,500 people registering for help to find work while dealing with back problems.

Anxiety was the third-most common health condition, with more than 3,000 people requesting employment support.

To be eligible for Disability Employment Services, job seekers are assessed through Centrelink to determine their suitability for the government program, which is delivered by APM from more than 500 national locations.

The figures shared by APM ahead of International Day of People with Disability, repeat the order of the top three most-common health conditions last year.

1 in 5 people live with disability

In Australia, there are more than 4.4 million people living with disability – that’s one in five people.

The 2020 figures again show how a significant number of people with disability are living with mental health rather than physical health conditions.

APM Employment Services CEO Karen Rainbow said the figures highlight the importance of employment for maintaining good mental health support.

“It’s been a very difficult year for job seekers and employers everywhere due to the impact of COVID-19," Ms Rainbow said.

“At APM we regularly see how employment can help improve a person’s mental health when they’re living with conditions such as depression and anxiety.

“The number of people who need employment support while managing mental health conditions is again a major proportion of those we assist at APM.

And our teams will continue to work harder than ever into 2021 to help those job seekers who want to work achieve their employment goals.”

Most common disabilities impacting the lives of eligible job seekers registered with APM Employment Services in 2020:

Depression 5694
Spinal disorders 5547
Anxiety 3063
Lower limb deficiencies 2238
Musculo-skeletal disorders 2186
Shoulder and upper arm disorders 1943
Osteoarthritis 1659
Intellectual disability 1086
Bi-polar affective disorder 996
Circulatory system 955
Note: Figures correct up to 30 November 2020. This list provides insights into the disabilities affecting the employment of active job seekers when searching for work. It is not intended as a comprehensive account of disability types or health conditions across Australia.

Injury, illness or disability and want to work?

You could be eligible for help in finding a suitable job from APM Employment Services.

As Australia’s largest provider of the Disability Employment Services program we help thousands of people with permanent or temporary disabilities, injuries, mental health conditions and other diagnosed barriers which may prevent them finding successful employment.

If you want to find out more, register with us today, or call our team on 1800 276 276 for more information.

Looking for staff?

We don’t just support job seekers, we also help thousands of employers find reliable staff and access government incentives when hiring new employees.

If you’re an employer, you could access wage subsidies, plus funds for training and workplace modifications when hiring a person with disability for full or part-time work.

Plus, you will be enhancing the diversity of your business while making a real positive difference in a person’s life.

Find out more about this rewarding opportunity for employers by speaking to your nearest APM Employment Services team, or emailing support@apm.net.au.