During this holiday season, it might be appropriate to think about America’s work force, the people that workers’ comp attorneys represent every day. Starting with the recession that began in 2007, the last few years have been tough on workers. In July, the national unemployment rate was 7.4 percent; in California the figure was even higher, at 8.7 percent.
While the percentage of Americans in the work force grew every year from 1970 through 2000, in the last decade that figure has steadily declined. As of July 2013, only 58.7 percent of the population was part of the work force. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that 4.2 million workers had been without employment for 27 or more weeks. Another 8.2 million workers were “involuntarily” part-time, meaning they could not find full-time work or their hours had been cut from full-time to part-time.
Most observers assume that even as bad as these statistics look, they don’t tell the full story. Many workers – after a year or more of unemployment – have simply given up looking for work, so they aren’t counted as “officially” unemployed. BLS also reported that the unemployment rate of workers with a disability was almost double the rate of those without a disability. Teens and minorities have significantly higher unemployment rates, and fewer of those who actually are working will receive pensions or other traditional benefits.
Blame whatever you choose; globalization, greed, technology, schools, Republicans, and Democrats are all being blamed by someone for the sad condition of the American work force. Those of us who defend the rights of injured workers in the workers’ compensation system see Americans workers every day who are apprehensive about the future.
If you believe you have a work-related injury or illness, you can ease some of that apprehension by speaking at once with an experienced worker’s compensation attorney. A good workers’ compensation lawyer will help you through the process and fight diligently for the compensation you deserve. Workers’ compensation will cover some of your expenses while you recover from you illness or injury; it makes the future just a bit less bleak. If you’ve been injured at the workplace, don’t hesitate to speak to an experienced workers’ comp attorney as quickly as possible.