workers' compensation

The state average wage increased in 2016, which will affect some state programs with benefits tied to it

According to the Employment Security Department, the average annual wage in the state increased to $58,957 in 2016. (The 4.8 percent increase over 2015 is apparently the largest percentage increase since 2007.) The 2016 average weekly wage was $1,133.

Roundup of year-end agency news

A number of agency announcements have made my inbox over the last month:

Washington’s workers’ compensation system is costly by any measure

The Washington Self-Insurers Association (WSIA) reports that the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services has released its 2016 Workers’ Compensation Premium Rate Ranking Summary. Washington’s workers’ compensation premium rates are ranked the 15th highest in the nation.

Washington’s workers’ compensation benefit costs are again the highest in the country

The National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI) released its annual workers’ compensation report today. For 2014 (there is a data lag), Washington’s benefit costs were the highest in the nation at $825.33 per covered worker. The states with the next highest benefit costs were California ($776.86), Alaska ($682.06), and Wyoming ($665.56). Washington has consistently ranked first by this measure.

Washington average wage increases -- so will UI benefits and taxes and workers' comp COLAs

Last week the Employment Security Department (ESD) reported that the state's average annual wage was $56,273 in 2015 (a 2.6 percent increase over the previous year). This has implications for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits and taxes and workers' compensation benefits.

A 2 percent increase in average workers' comp rates for 2016

The Department of Labor and Industries has announced that it will increase average workers' compensation rates by 2 percent next year.

A good read from the WSIA on the workers' comp rate proposal

Kris Tefft of the Washington Self-Insurers Association has written a detailed, interesting analysis of the proposed increase in average workers' compensation rates for next year, including how the different pieces of the rate proposal fit together.

Average workers' comp rates could increase by 2 percent

The Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) proposes that workers' compensation rates increase by 2 percent next year (on average). There will be a comment period, and L&I will announce the final rates in December. (Last year, for example, it proposed a 1.8 percent increase and the final increase was 0.8 percent.)

L&I Director Joel Sacks said,

Washington still has the nation's highest workers' compensation benefits costs

According to the National Academy of Social Insurance's annual workers' compensation report (released today), Washington has the nation's highest benefits costs yet again.

Worker's comp COLA is 4.2 percent for FY 2016

The Department of Labor and Industries has announced that workers' compensation benefits will increase by 4.168 percent in fiscal year 2016. This is due to the increase in the state's average annual wage last year.

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