The Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services has released its biennial study on national workers’ compensation premium rates. The study, based on rates that were in effect Jan. 1, 2012, ranks all 50 states and the District of Columbia according to their workers’ compensation premium rates.
In the new ranking, the median index rate, a benchmark for rates nationally, has dropped to $1.88 for 2012, 8 percent below the 2010 median value.
Alaska had the highest 2012 workers’ compensation rates, and Connecticut rates were the second highest.
North Dakota had the lowest rates. California, Washington, and Idaho were 3rd, 13th, and 19th highest, respectively.
Oregon researchers report that in recent years, rates across states have moved closer together. As differences have narrowed, rankings have become more volatile—a state can move multiple positions without a big change in its rate. That is why the Oregon study also shows how much a state’s rates are above or below the median of all states. Oregon’s index rate was 16 percent below the 2012 median.
The rate ranking study is updated by DCBS research analysts every 2 years and reported to the Oregon Legislature as a measure of workers’ compensation system performance. Oregon’s low rate reflects the state’s workers’ compensation system reforms and its improvements in workplace safety and health. Low workers’ compensation costs are an important factor in creating a favorable business climate.