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Rates for Oregon businesses among the lowest in nation
Salem, OR—Oregon's workers' compensation rates continue to be among the lowest in the nation, according to data released today by the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS).

The biennial study ranks all 50 states and Washington, D.C., based on premium rates that were in effect Jan. 1, 2016. Oregon had the seventh least expensive rates in 2016, an improvement from its ranking as the ninth least expensive state the last time the study was done, in 2014. Oregon was 13th least expensive in 2012. DCBS recently announced that Oregon workers' compensation rates would decline further – an average 6.6 percent – in 2017. Workers' compensation pays injured workers for lost wages and medical care for job-related injuries.

“Oregon continues to show that it's possible to reduce employer costs without cutting available benefits," Governor Kate Brown said. “We must remain committed to working together to balance employer rates and worker benefits, and to help workers who are injured heal and return to work quickly.”

The study shows California had the most expensive rates, followed by New Jersey. North Dakota had the least expensive rates. In the Northwest, Washington's rates were the 15th most expensive and Idaho was the 28th most expensive.

Oregon researchers also compared each state's rates to the national median (midpoint) rate of $1.84 per $100 of payroll. Oregon's rate of $1.28 is 31 percent below the median.

Because states have various mixes of industries, the study calculates rates for each state using a standard mix of the 50 industries with the highest workers' compensation claims costs in Oregon. Details about how the study was conducted can be found at http://www.cbs.state.or.us/external/dir/wc_cost/ab...

A summary of the study was posted today; the full report will be published later this year.

Oregon has conducted these studies in even-numbered years since 1986, when Oregon's rates were among the highest in the nation. The department reports the results to the Oregon Legislature as a performance measure. Oregon's relatively low rate today reflects the state's workers' compensation system reforms and its improvements in workplace safety and health.

“Oregon employers understand the importance of keeping workplaces safe,” said Patrick Allen, DCBS director. “That commitment continues to be a significant factor in keeping costs down.”

Here are some key links for the study/workers' compensation costs:

• To read a summary of the study, go to http://www.cbs.state.or.us/external/dir/wc_cost/fi...

• Prior years' summaries and full reports with details of study methods can be found at http://www.oregon.gov/DCBS/reports/Pages/general-w...

• Information on workers' compensation costs in Oregon, including a map with these state rate rankings, is at http://www.cbs.state.or.us/external/dir/wc_cost/ma...

The Department of Consumer and Business Services is Oregon's largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. Visit http://www.dcbs.oregon.gov.

For more information:
Mark Peterson, DCBS Communications
503-947-7868
mark.peterson@oregon.gov

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