A new study from the California Workers’ Compensation Institute shows that claims from white-collar workers have assumed greater relative importance as the economy has sputtered.
The study shows that on average workers’ compensation claims from professionals and clerical workers were 16 percent of all claims in California, and 15 percent of all claims payments, between 2001 and 2008.
But, data from 2008 only, shows that professional and clerical claims were 20 percent of all claims. and of all claims payments.
The report says it is fairly clear that this change in the distribution of claims is due to the economic downturn, which has hit hard industries like construction particularly.
Professional and clerical injuries tend to be strains and repetitive motion type injuries, like carpal tunnel syndrome, the report noted.
The report also says that average payments on these claims have risen. In 2005, first-year losses on professional/clerical claims were an average $9,710. In 2007, that had climbed to $13,879.
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