At a Glance

Employment Growth Fuels Total Workers’ Comp Spending


Workers’ Comp Benefits and Costs Per $100 of Covered Wages, 1980-2012

WC Benefits color2Nationwide workers’ compensation benefits paid per $100 of wages were lower from 2008 to 2012 than at any time over the past three decades, according to a new report from the National Academy of Social Insurance. The graphic above shows that employer costs, as measured per $100 of payroll, rose from $1.29 to $1.32 during 2012 while benefits paid dropped from $1.01 to $0.98.

Overall, total workers’ compensation benefits paid nationwide rose 1.3 percent to $61.9 billion in 2012, while employer costs rose 6.9 percent to $83.2 billion. The growth in overall spending reflects a recovering economy with employment and earnings up.

In 2012 workers’ comp covered nearly 128 million workers, up 1.6 from 2011. That was still less than the number of workers covered in 2008.

From 2008 to 2012 total benefits costs paid rose by 5.3%, according to the Academy’s report.

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