Boca Raton, FL – WCRI recently published a new blog write up in light of the economic disruptions being caused by the COVID-19 virus, which sheds light on how a typical recession affects the return to work of injured workers using a study WCRI released in 2010.
The study Recession, Fear of Job Loss, and Return to Work asks: what is the impact of a doubling of the unemployment rate on the probability of longer-term unemployment, defined as being out of work for 2.5 years post-injury?
It is important to observe that the current situation is substantially different from a typical recession. The immediate closure of restaurants and bars, canceling all sporting events, eliminating the congregation of even small numbers of people, and other measures have an impact that is more profound and rapid than a typical recession. An injured worker in certain sectors of the economy would have very limited opportunity to return to work during the closures.
At the same time, these measures are expected to be of limited duration and the economy may rebound quickly after the restrictions are lifted. Longer-term unemployment may be limited due to the possible quick turnaround, though this observation is tempered by the possibility that the temporary closures will remain permanent for some businesses. So, the results of the WCRI study summarized, while instructive, hopefully will have limited applicability to the current situation.
The study identifies two different channels of impact of a recession on return to work of those injured at work:
- Direct effect: Workers seeking to return to work might find that job opportunities are scarcer and that return to work is delayed.
- Indirect effect: Workers may fear job loss if they do not return to work, so they may try to hasten that return to work.
Read the full writeup here: WCRI: Recession, Fear of Job Loss, and Return to Work