WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration wants to use the power of government purchasing to help increase the number of disabled people in the workforce.
A proposed Labor Department rule would require government contractors to set a goal of having disabled workers make up at least 7 percent of their employees.
If the department approves the rule, it could help lower the 13 percent unemployment rate for disabled workers. Federal contractors and subcontractors account for nearly one(equals)quarter of the nation's workforce.
The proposal would create an affirmative action program for the disabled that's similar to those for race and gender.
Businesses have had mixed reactions to the plan, which could be easier for larger companies than smaller ones to put into place.