The nation's economic woes of the past couple years is leading to a major drop in people covered by workers' compensation insurance.

According to the National Academy of Social Insurance, the recession has resulted in a reduction of 124.9 million Americans covered by workers' comp insurance in 2009. That's a 4.4 percent decrease.

In addition, the organization has found:

* The most recent drop in those covered by workers' comp insurance is the largest decline in two decades, according to the group's report, “Workers’ Compensation: Benefits, Coverage and Costs, 2009.”

* Due to the drop-off in employed workers, employers’ total workers comp benefit costs fell by $73.9 billion -- a 7.6 percent decline. That's the biggest drop since 1987.

* Despite the major reduction in the number of workers covered by comp insurance, benefit pay-outs actually increased by 0.4 percent in 2009.