February 13, 2019 – The research, which was published last month in the Journal of Human Resources, found that a 10% increase in opioid prescriptions per capita led to a 0.6% drop in the U.S labor force, as well as a 0.1% increase in county unemployment rates.
The study, which measured causal effects of opioids on the U.S. labor force, is the first of its kind to be published in a peer-reviewed journal, said Matt Harris, assistant professor in UT’s Boyd Center for Business and Economic research and co-author of the study.
“The effects are really large,” said Harris. “Prescription opioids may explain up to half of the decline in labor force participation since 2000.”)
Harris et. al. may have gleaned additional motivation to pursue the research seeing as their university is located in one of the states hardest hit by questionable opioid prescription practices.
“We found that opioids have this strong adverse effect on labor force participation but only a marginally significant effect on the unemployment rate, which leads us to believe that opioids are leading individuals to exit the labor force entirely,” said UT’s Larry Kesler, who co-authored the study.
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Free Case Evaluation: Again, if you or a loved one has been harmed by the side effects of a prescription opioid medication, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit and we can help.