Construction WC Rate Trends

Click for a quick summary of the analysis via an infographic

Workers’ Compensation rates vary by state, scope of work, and 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 work comp rates throughout the recent past. Information gathered in this report comes from the Oregon Department of Consumer & Business Services. Every two years, they gather work comp 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 & 2012 reports. These reports can be found at the DCBS website,  From this information, we narrowed our report to five important construction work comp codes: 5183 (plumbing), 5551 (roofing), 5474 (painting or paperhanging), 5190 (electrical wiring), & 5403 (carpentry). Also, we selected work comp rating data from five states: Texas, California, New York, New Jersey, and Florida.

State Trends – WC Rates Mostly Trending Slightly Higher

Here is a look at how the average of our five construction work comp rates have changed over time by state. California and Florida have had some major decreases in work comp rates until 2012. Texas has had a moderate decrease in work comp rates every year, and New York has been up and down with 2012 rates coming in at much higher levels than 2012. New Jersey rates have been up every year except 2010.

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. However, we are seeing a slight increase in 2012 for the average and all codes except roofing.

2012 WC Rates

Where are we at today? Here is a look where WC rates were in 2012. The map of the United States indicates average work comp rates by state over 50 of the largest occupational classes.

Below is the 2012 rankings of average work comp rates from the highest costs to the lowest.