August 2004, Vol. 127, No. 8
Labor month in review
Fatalities among athletes
The August Review
In the September 1996 issue of Compensation and Working Conditions (PDF), the Bureau of Labor Statistics outlined its long-term plan for consolidating what had been several different data collection programs into an integrated National Compensation Survey. The ongoing success of that strategy has yielded vast amounts of information on occupational wages, employment costs, and, as will be seen in this issue, employee benefits.
Allan P. Blostin’s overview paper does a far better job of summarizing the following articles than there is space to do here. Thus, the following are the bare bone acknowledgements of the authors and their topics.
Jordan Pfuntner reports on new data available through the National Compensation Survey on health and retirement benefits.
Carl B. Barsky compares the frequency at which establishments offer certain benefits with the employee participation rate in such programs.
William J. Wiatrowski explores the possible reasons for the declining number of private sector workers participating in medical care plans.
Elizabeth Dietz outlines the cost-sharing and cost-saving provisions on prescription drug benefit plans.
Michael Lettau explores the flexibility of the integrated National Compensation databases as it pertains to calculating relationships among benefits access rates, participation rates, cost per employee, and cost per participant.
Veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces were less likely to be unemployed than nonveterans in August 2003. Veterans had an unemployment rate of 4.5 percent, compared with 5.9 percent for nonveterans.
The unemployment rates of male veterans aged 25 to 34 (4.7 percent) and 35 to 44 (3.8 percent) were lower than the rates of their nonveteran peers (6.3 percent and 4.8 percent, respectively) in August 2003. Among those 45 to 54 years old, however, veterans had a higher jobless rate than non-veterans (5.4 percent versus 3.6 percent).
Female veterans aged 25 to 34 had a relatively high unemployment rate of 8.2 percent, but the rate was much lower for those aged 35 to 44 (3.4 percent). Female veterans aged 45 to 54 had a jobless rate of 5.4 percent, little different from their nonveteran contemporaries.
The rate of unemployment for black veterans was much lower than for black nonveterans—4.8 percent compared with 11.3 percent in August 2003. For whites, the unemployment rate for veterans was only somewhat lower than the rate for nonveterans—4.5 percent versus 5.1 percent. Among Hispanics, veterans and nonveterans both had unemployment rates around 7 percent. For more information, see "Employment Situation of Veterans: August 2003," news release USDL 04–1378 on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/news.release/vet.toc.htm
Fatalities among athletes
From 1992 to 2002, a total of 219 fatal work injuries involving professional athletes were recorded by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a figure representing less than 1 percent of all workplace fatalities. However, over the same period, the fatality rate for athletes was 22.0 fatal work injuries per 100,000 workers.
An examination of the narratives of each workplace fatality provides insight into the activities that athletes were performing at the time of their fatal injury. Just over a third (37.4 percent) of the deceased were performing a task associated with automobile or motorcycle racing (such as driving or flagging) when they were killed. Decedents who were participating in water activities (diving, swimming, and boating) accounted for just less than one-quarter (23.3 percent) of the fatalities. In addition, 16 percent of the athletes were killed working with horses or bulls, and about 6 percent were killed in some form of pugilism such as boxing, kickboxing, or wrestling. For additional information, see "Fatal Occupational Injuries to Athletes, 1992–2002," in Compensation and Working Conditions Online on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/cwc/sh20040719ar01p1.htm
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