There are now 10,978,040 people in America collecting disability checks—this at a time when labor force participation has been steadily declining as unemployed workers get discouraged and stop looking for work.
Of the almost 11 million people on disability, 8,877,921 are workers. There were 116,053,000 people working full-time in May 2013. This means that 13 workers support every one person on disability. Back in 1968, the ratio was 51 to 1, meaning that we’ve seen a fourfold increase in the ranks of the working disabled since 1968.
With all the advances in automation of dangerous work, workplace safety and ergonomic workplace innovations, does anyone really think that the American worker is four times more likely to become disabled on the job than in 1968? Or, is something else happening here?