Oregon Report Shows State’s Workers’ Comp Rates Among Nation’s Lowest

November 22, 2022

Oregon’s workers’ compensation rates remain among the lowest in the nation, according to an analysis released by the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services.

The biennial study ranks all 50 states and Washington, D.C., based on premium rates that were in effect Jan. 1, 2022.

Oregon had the 10th least expensive rates in 2022 with an index rate of 93 cents per $100 of payroll, down from $1.00 from 2020, the report shows.

According to DCBS, Oregon fell in the rankings by four spots from the 2020 survey because rates in other states dropped a few pennies more.

DCBS announced in September that Oregon workers’ compensation rates would decline an average 3.2 percent in 2023.

In recent years, rates have dropped all over the country, which has led to a compression of the scores in the survey. The premium index rates are bunched up at the low end, so that small changes in the index rates can lead to big jumps in the ranking, according to the report.

In 2020, the report showed Oregon was sixth least expensive. In 2022, that spot is held by Kentucky. However, there is a 7-cent difference per $100 of payroll between the two (93 cents for Oregon and 86 cents for Kentucky).

The study shows New Jersey had the most expensive rates, followed by Hawaii and California. Meanwhile, North Dakota had the least expensive rates. In the Northwest, Washington’s rates were the 24th most expensive and Idaho was the 16th most expensive.

The report also compared each state’s rates to the national median rate of $1.27 per $100 of payroll. Oregon’s rate of 93 cents is 73% of the median, its second-lowest recorded level.

To produce a valid comparison of states, which have various mixes of industries, the study calculates rates for each state using the same mix of the 50 industries with the highest workers’ compensation claims costs in Oregon.

Oregon has conducted these studies in even-numbered years since 1986.