Professor Emeritus, John F. Burton, Jr., reports in the Workers' Compensation Research Report that for the ninth consecutive year there have been declining costs.
Issue 10 of the Workers’ Compensation Resources Research Report (WCRRR) examines the employers’ costs of workers’ compensation. Part I relies on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to examine national trends from 1986 to 2014. For private-sector employers, costs dropped for the ninth consecutive year and represented 1.77 percent of payroll in 2014, the lowest figure since 1986. For all non-federal employers, which includes state and local government employers in addition to private sector employers, employers’ costs of workers’ compensation were 1.76 percent of payroll in 2014, which was the ninth consecutive year of declining costs and the lowest figure since the data series began in 1991.
The National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI) also publishes estimates of the employers’ costs of workers’ compensation for all non-federal employers. The results of the two estimates diverge after 2010, with the NASI data showing three years of increases in employers’ costs from 2011 to 2013 (the latest year with NASI data) while the BLS data show nine years of declines through 2014.
Part II provides information based on the BLS data on the variations among employers’ costs of workers’ compensation in 2014 depending on the employers’ region, industry, the occupations of the firms’ employees, firm size, and union status. The variations among industries were significant, ranging from 4.71 percent of payroll in construction to 0.57 percent of payroll in the financial industry.
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