Workers comp rates to increase 12 Percent

It didn’t take very long for the Department of Labor and Industries to calculate 2011’s workers’ compensation rates. You may remember the imbroglio that ensued after L&I declined to issue its proposed 2011 rates due to the changes that Initiative 1082 may impose (calculating premiums based on employee payroll, as opposed to hours worked). But since I-1082 was defeated last week L&I wasted no time in issuing the verdict: a 12 percent average rate increase. This follows the 2010 rate increase of 7.6 percent.

The new rate takes effect on January 1, but the Department will hold public hearings in January to gather comments before adopting the 12 percent as a permanent rate.

This news comes just weeks after the Employment Security Department announced a roughly 40 percent increase in unemployment insurance for 2011, after a 40 percent increase from 2009-2010. So, all-in-all, a rough stretch for the business community.