States with the highest workers’ compensation premium rates are New Jersey, Hawaii, California, New York and Louisiana. On the flip side, North Dakota, West Virginia, Arkansas, Utah and Indiana have the lowest rates.
The ranking was by the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services but includes all states.
It found the national median index rate is $1.27 per $100 of payroll — the lowest value since the inception of the biennial study in 1986, after peaking in 1994.
Oregon’s index is 93 cents per $100 of payroll, down from $1.00 in 2020, putting it among the lowest.
In comparison, North Dakota’s rate was 58 cents per $100 of payroll. North Dakota had the lowest premiums among all states.
In New Jersey, the state with the highest premiums, the rate was $2.44 per $100 of payroll.
Rates have dropped across the country, the agency noted.
“This study is an important tool for the workers’ compensation systems throughout the US,” said DCBS Director Andrew Stolfi. “It shows how strong the Oregon workers’ compensation system has become since the survey’s inception in 1986. As an agency, we work hard to keep workplace injuries low and benefits robust and are glad to see insurance costs for employers continue to fall.”
Oregon began analyzing workers’ compensation premium rates of all states in 1986 using a methodology that controls for interjurisdictional differences in industry compositions.
“The study compares premium rates for the same set of industry classes across all jurisdictions, after weighting by the industry payroll in Oregon, to determine a normalized premium index rate that reflects the differences in premiums,” according to wording in the report. “The index rates are not, strictly speaking, the premium rates paid by employers in that jurisdiction; instead, they represent the degree to which the premium rates differ from one another within the group.”
The current study analyzed rates effective through Jan. 1, 2022.