(Tumwater, WA) -- The Washington Department of Labor and Industries is proposing a 4.8 percent increase in the average price employers and workers pay for workers’ compensation insurance next year. If adopted, the increase would mean employers and workers would jointly pay an additional $61 a year, on average, for each full-time employee within a business.

"Even with the increase, the average hourly rate businesses will pay will be about the same as what they were paying in 2016,” L&I Director Joel Sacks said. “After keeping rates steady to help businesses that were struggling during the pandemic, we're now proposing a modest rate increase that’s in line with our goal of stable and predictable rates for businesses to ensure the long-term health of the workers’ compensation fund."

Employers and workers pay into the workers’ compensation system to help cover the cost of providing wage and disability benefits for injured workers, as well as medical treatment of workplace injuries and illnesses.

Workers will continue to pay on average about a quarter of the premium, a similar percentage to that paid in 2022.

In a statement, the agency says that In 2021 and 2022, L&I helped employers and workers struggling from the pandemic by tapping its contingency reserves to avoid a larger increase in premium rates. L&I wants to take a similar approach to prevent a larger rate increase for 2023.

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