2012 Workers’ Comp and UI Taxes

Today the Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) and the Employment Security Department announced the workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance tax rates for 2012.

For workers’ compensation, there will be no overall increase in premiums.  The L&I press release states:

In September, the agency proposed a 2.5 percent increase. The decision to hold overall rates flat in 2012 is due to public testimony about the impact of the recession and recent positive trends in claims duration, according to L&I Director Judy Schurke.


Schurke noted that the workers’ compensation reforms passed during the last legislative session will save $150 million in workers’ compensation premiums in 2012. This is part of the $1.1 billion in reform savings over four years.

While there will be no overall rate increase, individual employers may see their rates go up or down, depending on their recent claims history and changes in the frequency and cost of claims in their industry.

The full rate table is available here.  According to L&I, “In total, 171 risk classes will increase and 146 risk classes will decrease or stay the same.”  This is the first time since 2007 that general rates are not increasing.

For unemployment insurance, “tax rates will decrease in all 40 rate classes in 2012.”  Further, tax rates will be lower for 88 percent of employers, and the average tax rate will decrease by 13 percent.

In a press conference, the governor and the department directors credited reforms to both systems made earlier this year for keeping rates from rising.  For more information on the reforms, see here and here.