Key Facts and Data

Key Facts and Data

Only 5.7% of people with a learning disability are in work

The latest statistical information we have for England is for 2016-17. Employment rates have been dropping year on year for adults with a learning disability [Indicator 1E].

In 2016-17, 5.7% of adults with learning disabilities aged 18-64 and known to Councils with Adult Social Services Responsibilities (CASSRs) were in paid employment [Indicator 1E].

The gender breakdown is male 6.2%, female 5.0%. Rates varied from 4.2% in the Midlands and North West to 7.2% in London but have been on a downward trend for several years.

The definition for Indicator 1E was changed in 2015-16 and now only includes those adults with learning disabilities included in the SALT returns as receiving long-term support because of their learning disability.


The equivalent overall figure for previous years is:

  • 2015-16: 5.8% (Male: 6.2%, Female: 5.2%)
  • 2014-15: 6.0% (Male:6.4%, Female 5.3%)
  • 2013-14: 6.8% (Male: 7.5%, Female: 5.8%)
  • 2012-13: 7.0% (Male: 7.8% Female:6%)
  • 2011-12: 7.1% (Male: 7.9% Female: 6.1%)
  • 2010-11: 6.6%.


7% of people using secondary mental health services are employed

In 2016-17, 7% of adults aged 18-69 in contact with secondary mental health services were known to be in paid employment at the time of their assessment or latest review [Indicator 1F].

The gender breakdown is male 6%, female 9%. Rates varied from 5% in the North West to 12% in the South West. Employment rates appear to have risen since 2015-16.

This compares to previous years' figures:

  • 2015-16: 6.7% (Male: 5.5%, Female: 8.0%)
  • 2014-15: 6.8% (Male: 5.6%, Female: 8.3%)
  • 2013-14: 7.0% (Male: 5.8%, Female: 8.5%)
  • 2012-13: 7.7% (Male: 6.5% Female: 8.9%)
  • 2011-12: 8.9% (Male: 7.8% Female: 10.0%)
  • 2010-11: 9.5%


The full set of reports is available on the NHS Digital website. Outcome data can be found for each local authority in the spreadsheets below.


Over 65% of people with learning disabilities or severe mental health conditions want to work.


2010-11 was the last year of the NIS indicators and the Social Care and Mental Health indicators were replaced by the Adult Social Care Outcomes Framework for 2011-12 onwards. NI146 and NI150 appear in the new framework as Indicators 1E and 1F, although there are some changes to the definitions.