By 1998, the number of people involved in supported employment increased from 9,800 to 140,000. A study of vocational rehabilitation outcomes for people with developmental disabilities found a number of important changes in outcomes between 1985 and 1998:
- No significant change in either the total number of people being closed or the number of successful closures for this particular population.
- A significant reduction in the number of closures into extended employment (sheltered workshops).
- The number of competitive labor market closures has increased, leading to the trend of a higher percentage of successful closures being into competitive employment. This demonstrates a greater emphasis on the use of competitive employment as a preferred outcome to extended employment.