02 February 2021

Lower earnings and lower employment rates with a hearing loss

People with hearing loss earn much less and have much lower employment rates than people with no hearing loss, a study finds.

A large American study has found that people with a hearing loss are at a disadvantage compared to people with no hearing loss, both when it comes to earnings and employment rates. People with hearing loss only earn around 75% of the earnings of people with no hearing loss.

Lower earnings

People with hearing loss aged between 18 to 44 years earned 78% of the earnings of people with no hearing loss within the same age range. In the age range 45 to 64, people with hearing loss earned 73% compared to people with no hearing loss and among those aged 65 years and older, the percentage was 72% of the earnings of people with no hearing loss.

Fewer employed

People with hearing loss aged between 18 and 44 were part of the labour force at rate of 86% when compared to people without hearing loss (100%). Among those with hearing loss aged 45-64, the rate was 81% compared to people with no hearing loss.  For the age group above 65, the rate had fallen to 61% compared to people without hearing loss.

About the study

The study was conducted among 1% of the US population including individuals with and without hearing loss. The study analysed American Community Survey census data on individual age, self-reported hearing loss, labour force participation and monetary earnings between 2011 and 2016.

The study consisted of 134,703 individuals with hearing loss and 2,997,548 individuals without hearing loss across all age groups.

The study, “Hearing Loss’s Incidence and Impact on Employment in the United States”, was published in the journal Otology & Neurotology.

Sources: pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov and Otology & Neurotology

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