Workers and those who pay their wages have been hard hit by the Great Recession. Across the nation families continue to struggle with decimated savings, job loss and high debt levels. At the same time, businesses from small privately owed outfits to large corporations have been forced to reexamine how they do business. Cutting costs and reducing expenses are necessary for any business to survive tough economic times, unfortunately these actions often result in job loss for local workers.
The National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI) released a report on August 16th titled “Workers’ Compensation: Benefits, Coverage and Costs, 2009”. According to a recently published article on EHSToday.com, the report reveals a drop in the number of employees covered by workers’ compensation. This is not due to employers not paying their insurance premiums but rather a drop in the number of individuals employed in general.
As reported by EHSToday.com, “‘As one might expect, when the Great Recession hit, employers paid less in workers’ compensation costs because there were fewer workers’ to cover’ said John F. Burton Jr., chair of the panel that oversees the report.”
The information provided by this report is important for both workers and those who are still seeking employment. As businesses continue to reorganize and come to terms with the reality of the new economy, many are considering ways to keep costs low. Hiring more workers, while good for the worker, their family and the local economy, may not be cost effective for the business.
Other data included in the report indicate an overall drop in all areas due to fewer individuals being employed. This includes a drop in benefits paid by workers’ compensation, a decline in occupational fatalities and a decrease in occupational injuries or illnesses.
Workers’ compensation benefits are still available for qualified employees, therefore any injuries or accidents which occur at work should be reported immediately to ensure the proper procedures are followed for claims.