[Claimant Wages

The average weekly wage for Oregon workers injured on the job during fiscal year (FY) 1994 was $394.45. The average weekly wage for all workers (excluding federal) was $464.25, a difference of $69.80. For more information on the decline in the wages of injured workers relative to those of all Oregon workers (see Table 1), the publication Differences in Average Weekly Wages is available upon request.

Injured workers who are "disabled" for more than three calendar days receive time loss benefits equal to two-thirds of their weekly wage at time of injury, up to the maximum benefit limitation. For injuries occurring in FY 1994, the benefit limitation was $478.95. The maximum benefit changes each July 1, with the time loss maximum set to the average weekly wage of all Oregon employees during the fourth quarter of the preceding calendar year.

During FY 1994, 2,232 workers (7.9 percent of claimants) had weekly wages above $718.42, which is the wage at which claimants received the maximum benefit. Were there no benefit limitation, these higher-wage workers would have received time loss in excess of $478.95. However, any adverse effects of the benefit structure depend upon the extent to which tax-free workers' compensation benefits replace after-tax earnings or purchasing power.

[Table 1]

Of the 28,079 claimants with wages reported, 70.4 percent received wages which fell at or below the maximum benefit amount of $478.95 for those claims. Figure 1 shows the distribution of both wages and claims at $50 intervals for FY 1994.
[Figure 1]

The distribution of cases by age is shown in Table 2. Of the FY 1994 claims, 47.2 percent were for workers aged 34 and younger, with the greatest number in the 30-34 age group. The number of claims per age group steadily declines thereafter, while the average wage shows an increase until peaking at $471.59 per week in the 50-54 age group.
[Table 2]

Table 3 presents wage data by the sex of the claimants and the industry division as determined by the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) of the employer at injury. In FY 1994, women accounted for 31.7 percent of the claims. The average wage for female workers was $311.05, while male workers averaged $433.11 per week. Manufacturing had the greatest number of claims, with 22.1 percent of the total. Mining had the highest average wage, $528.26. Retail trade had the lowest average wage, $287.75. The highest wages reported by major industry group (10 or more claims) were in heavy construction (SIC 16, $643.59) and state government - justice, public order and safety (SIC 92, $625.13). The lowest wages were in eating and drinking places (SIC 58, $203.21) and hotels and other lodging places (SIC 70, $206.24).
[Table 3]

Table 4 shows the occupations (10 or more claims) with the highest and lowest average weekly wages.
[Table 4]

Table 5 displays the percentage of claims and the average weekly wage by the top level of formal education completed at the time of injury.
[Table 5]

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Mike Maier, Research Analyst, Research & Analysis Section, Information Management Division (503) 947-7352

This document was originally published in March 1995.
Document URL: http://www.cbs.state.or.us/external/imd/rasums/claim94.h tm

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