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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Declining Salaries and Unemployment Challenege Workers' Compensation

The decline of wages is yet another major factor in the determination of the health of the workers' compensation system. Recently released surveys reflect that the increase in salaries is the lowest in decades.

The US Department of Labor has reported that the average workers' salary has only increased 2.2% in last year. The demonstrates a fall of 3.2%.

Most workers' compensation systems are based upon the Sate Average Weekly Wage (SAWW). The SAAW establishes the limits for benefit payouts. Usually States mandate that both minimum and maximum payments are a percentage of the SAWW. Compounding that predicament is the fact that the recession has eliminated 6.5 million jobs since 2007.

Both higher levels of unemployment and a reduction in salary increases impact have a fiscal impact of the workers' compensation system. Wages are the basis for the calculation of premiums collected. Few employees and lower wages reflect in lower incomes for insurance companies.

Of course lower employer gives rise to declining claims and lower salaries give rise to lower rates. However, medical costs, the driving force in workers' compensation continue to rise. As the economy continues to decline and fewer businesses remain afloat, the challenge to keep the workers' compensation system afloat will become more acute.

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