Even though the number of employees age 55 and older has doubled since 2000, workers compensation claims have been declining. Why?
That question led to some surprising answers in the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) research study, The Modern Worker and On-the-Job Injuries: How Changing Employee Demographics Affect Claims Frequency, released on April 1.
Employers have benefited with lower workers compensation rates in recent years. Idaho’s NCCI workers compensation rates dropped on average another 4.2 percent in 2019.
As reported annually in NCCI’s State of the Line Report, workers compensation frequency has fallen almost every year for over two decades and by nearly one third just in the last 10 years.
In the study, NCCI explored the relationship between age, gender, sector, and frequency over the last decade.
The shape of the workplace has been changing. Recent declines in frequency have coincided with a period of significant changes in the US labor force. Most notably, the workforce has added a lot of older workers even as the number of workers under 55 has been stable.
There have been changes in gender composition and sector mix of workers as well. Women now make up 47% of the labor force. The share of service sector employment is near record highs.
So, how do these shifts in the employment pool correlate to injury claims?
Among the key findings:
- Younger workers are getting injured less often than their older peers, a major shift in relative rates
- The gender gap in frequency is narrower due to injury rates falling faster for men than for women
- Frequency decline is driven mainly by lower incidence rates for all workers, not demographic shifts
- Workforce aging has had almost no effect on frequency decline
For the full report, click and read The Modern Worker and On-the-Job Injuries: How Changing Employee Demographics Affect Claims Frequency.