WC Rates Declining Across the Board

<Click for a quick summary of the analysis via an infographic>

Workers’ Compensation(WC) rates vary by state and  scope of work. They also change from year to year. This creates a dynamic environment around the pricing of work comp premiums.  We wanted to paint a picture of construction WC rates throughout the recent past. Information gathered in this report comes from the Oregon Department of Consumer & Business Services. Every two years, they gather WC rating information from all 50 states and the District of Columbia to create the Oregon Workers’ Compensation Premium Rating Report. We used information from their 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008 & 2010 reports. These reports can be found at the DCBS website, http://dcbs.oregon.gov.  From this information, we narrowed our report to five important construction WC codes: 5183 (plumbing), 5551 (roofing), 5474 (painting or paperhanging), 5190 (electrical wiring), & 5403 (masonry). Also, we selected WC rating data from five states: Texas, California, New York, New Jersey, and Florida.

State Trends – WC Rates Mostly Trending Lower

Here is a look at how the average of our five construction WC rates have changed over time by state. As you can see by the data below, California and Florida have had major decreases in WC rates. New Jersey has had a moderate increase since 2002, and Texas had a moderate decrease in WC rates. New York has been up and down with 2010 rates coming in almost identical to 2002 levels.

Construction WC Codes – Trends Over Time

Here is a look at the history of the five WC codes we used in our analysis. As you can see,  all codes had a slight increase in 2004, then a significant decrease in 06, 08 & 2010. Per Oregon Department of Consumer & Business Services findings, 2010 WC rates were the lowest in recent history. Have we reached the floor, or will WC rates continue to decrease in the future?

2010 WC Rates

Where are we at today? Here is a look where WC rates were in 2010. The map of the United States indicates average work comp rates by state over 50 of the largest occupational classes.

Below is a quick look at the 2010 rates by state and WC code.