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Growing earnings, workforce pushed comp costs up

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By Sheena Harrison, Crain News Service

WASHINGTON (Aug. 28, 2014) — Workers’ compensation costs paid by employers rose 6.9 percent in 2012 to $83.2 billion over 2011, driven largely by a rise in worker numbers and earnings, the National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI) said Aug. 26 in a report.

Wages eligible for workers’ comp coverage increased 4.3 percent to $6.3 trillion in 2012 from 2011, and the number of covered workers increased 1.6 percent to 127.9 million in 2012, the Washington-based NASI said in “Workers’ Compensation: Benefits, Coverage, and Costs, 2012.”

Workers’ comp benefits increased modestly in that time frame, the NASI’s report showed. Wage replacement benefits grew 1.8 percent from 2011 to 2012, while medical benefits grew 0.9 percent.

“As employment increases, the number of workers covered by workers compensation increases, along with the number of work-related injuries, and workers’ compensation benefits and costs,” the report said.

A copy of the report is available on the NASI’s website.

This report appeared on the website of Crain’s Business Insurance magazine, a Chicago-based sister publication of Tire Business.

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