From the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College:

For obvious reasons, people who do physically demanding work are prone to injuring themselves on the job and are more likely than office workers to apply for federal disability benefits.

But the question arises, is technology changing this relationship?

We know that technology has led to a decline in manual labor. The blue-collar jobs that remain are also easier to perform when machinery and computers are doing more of the heavy lifting workers used to do. Think of warehouse robots that alleviate the need to lift and carry heavy boxes.

However, new research based on a survey of couples between ages 51 and 61 – a population that is particularly vulnerable to illness and musculoskeletal disabilities – finds no evidence they feel the physical demands on them are lessening. If anything, they said, the requirements for motions like stooping, lifting, or crouching have increased somewhat since the early 1990s.

Their perceptions conflict with other studies showing an easing in the demands on blue-collar workers. But those studies are not based on what older people are saying about their jobs but on analyses of an occupational database that rates the intensity of the specific tasks required in each job. One example is how many pounds a warehouse worker must lift and how often that is required.

Technology and Blue-Collar Job Demands are intertwined in complex ways. As technology continues to evolve, it will be interesting to see how the nature of blue-collar jobs changes in response.

 If you’re in NC and want help with your Social Security disability claim, call Hall & Rouse, P.C. at 1-844-425-5347