Workers’ compensation employer costs as a share of payroll declined in 2015, reversing a four-year trend, and benefits as a share of payroll fell for the fourth straight year, according to a new report from the National Academy of Social Insurance (the Academy). The Academy report highlights state-by-state changes in coverage, benefits, and employer costs over the last five years.
As the economic recovery has spurred growth in employment and a corresponding increase in employees covered by workers’ compensation, benefits per $100 of payroll fell from $0.92 in 2014 to $0.86 in 2015—the lowest level since 1980. Between 2011 and 2015, benefits as a share of payroll fell in all but three states, continuing a national trend of declining benefits relative to payroll that began in the 1990s, according to the report, Workers’ Compensation: Benefits, Coverage, and Costs.
Meanwhile, workers’ compensation employer costs per $100 of payroll ticked down to $1.32 in 2015—the fourth lowest level since 1980. Employer costs as a share of payroll had increased consistently after the Great Recession, but leveled off in 2014 and declined in 2015, reversing its previous trend. Between 2011 and 2015, employer costs as a share of payroll declined in 27 states.
In aggregate, workers’ compensation benefits paid in 2015 were $61.9 billion, a 0.7 percent increase from 2011. Aggregate employer costs for workers’ compensation increased by 20.1 percent across the same period, reaching $94.8 billion in 2015. Most of the growth in employer costs occurred between 2011 and 2014; in 2015 costs increased only 2.3 percent from the previous year. Read the full press release.
- Download a PDF of the report.
- View the infographic.
- Read state press releases for: California, Illinois, Oklahoma, Washington, and West Virginia.
The above report was provided courtesy of Tiffany Lewis at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.