New research from Pro Bono Economics (PBE) shows that doubling the employment rate for autistic people could boost the economy by up to £1.5billion.

We have been working with Pro Bono Economics (PBE) who have been exploring how doubling the employment rates of autistic people could benefit society and the economy. Their report is released today, titled Opening opportunities: Improving employment prospects for autistic people.

One of our 2030 Goals is: By 2030 the employment rate for autistic people will double. It is for this reason that Pro Bono Economics created this report for us.

Key findings

  • By doubling the number of autistic people in employment there would be an extra 100,000 people in the labour market, with overall economic benefits of £900 million to £1.5bn each year.
  • The average unemployed autistic person would be £9,200 better off each year by moving into full-time employment.

Just 3 in 10 autistic people in the UK were estimated to be in employment in 2022/23. This compares to around half (54%) of all 16-64-year-olds registered as disabled and around eight in 10 (82%) in the non-disabled population.

There are numerous barriers to employment for autistic people, from non-inclusive interview practices to sensory overwhelm in open-plan office environments. However, with the right reasonable adjustments, many autistic people can thrive in the work place. There is plenty employers can do to make their organisations more inclusive for autistic people, and help attract more autistic talent into their workforce.

“We believe that with the right support and understanding, autistic individuals can thrive in the workplace, bringing a wealth of talent and unique perspectives to their roles. We call on all employers to join us in this mission to create a more inclusive and diverse workforce.”

Dr Amanda Roestorf, Head of Research at Autistica

Unlocking the potential of autistic people and getting them into the labour market will not only benefit individuals but will support the UK Government in its drive to boost productivity and growth.

Opening opportunities: Improving employment prospects for autistic people
has been launched ahead of the publication of an official government review designed to boost the employment prospects of autistic people. The Autism Employment Review led by former Justice Secretary Sir Robert Buckland is due to report its recommendations in early 2024.