Wage Loss Monitoring for Injured Workers in California's Workers' Compensation System: 2013 Injury Year Findings (First Interim Report)
Aug 31, 2018
This report presents new estimates of wage loss for workers in California who suffered a workplace injury or illness in 2014–2015 and compares these estimates with trends before, during, and after the Great Recession. The authors matched injured workers with control workers in the same firm at the time of injury with similar characteristics and analyzed the impact of injury on labor market outcomes, including earnings and employment.
Relative earnings over the second year after injury have been flat for workers injured in California since the Great Recession. On average, workers injured in 2014 and 2015 earned 93 percent of what they otherwise would have. These earnings losses were driven by workers who received indemnity benefits. This represents a slight increase from the 92 percent level estimated for workers injured during the Great Recession, but earnings remain lower than the pre-recession average of 96 percent. Relative earnings were lower for workers in small firms, workers with low job tenure, workers with low earnings prior to injury, and workers with cumulative injuries. Workers with cumulative injuries in Southern California were found to have particularly poor labor market outcomes, with relative earnings nearly 20 percentage points lower for workers in Southern California, compared with 8.5 percentage points lower for workers with cumulative injuries in the rest of the state. Continued monitoring of wage loss in future reports will provide a more complete picture of outcomes for permanently disabled workers as the effects of recent policy changes and economic expansion unfold. Additional research and policy attention should be paid to workers with cumulative injuries throughout the state and specifically in Southern California.
Data and Methods for Wage Loss Monitoring
Labor Market Impacts of Workplace Injury: Trends Through 2015
Labor Market Impacts of Workplace Injury: Differences in Earnings Loss Across Groups of Injured Workers Through 2015
Methods and Supplementary Results