Oregon’s state rankings for workers’ compensation premium rates

November 4th, 2008 by Julie Ferguson

If you are an employer with operations in multiple states or if you are just plain curious about how your state’s workers’ comp costs stack up to other states, we have just the tool for you. The Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services has just released its biennial report on state rankings for workers’ compensation premium rates (PDF). The report ranks all 50 states plus the District of Columbia for rates that were in effect in January 2008. Alaska, Montana, and Ohio take the win, place, and show awards for the three highest rates – not a race you want to win. Quick on their heels are three of our New England neighbors – Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine – coming in at third through sixth respectively. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the three states with the least expensive rates were North Dakota, Indiana, and Massachusetts. The home state of the survey’s authors didn’t fare too badly, ranking at #39.
See Table 2 to find a listing of states. The costliest states appear at the top of the list. The table shows an Index Rate which the study authors define as “the payroll weighted average premium for $100 of payroll based upon the 50 occupations in Oregon with the greatest losses.” The table also shows current ranking against the ranking in 2006 so you can determine if a state’s costs have negative or positive momentum. A shift up or down by a few points may not have much significance but a sharp increase up or down is a good indication that something is going on in the state that deserves another look.
For more reports of this nature, see Tom Lynch’s post about this report in 2006. He offered some good commentary, as well as links to other state ranking reports. He comments that all three reports have value, but the Oregon report is notable for being free and accessible while the other reports must be purchased.
Oregon’s press release on the report
Your Government at Work – Worker injury research you can actually use
Eight steps to controlling workers’ comp costs in your company Part 2, Part 3

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