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(Madison, WI) Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development

The Wisconsin Commissioner of Insurance Monday approved an overall 6.03% rate decrease for Worker's Compensation premiums for businesses, effective Oct. 1, 2018. This is the third consecutive year Worker's Compensation rates have declined, following an 8.46% decline in 2017, and a 3.19% decline in 2016. The latest reduction in premiums is expected to result in an annual savings of about $134 million for Wisconsin employers.

"This is just another indicator that Wisconsin's investments in its employees' occupational safety is paying off," Governor Scott Walker said. "Not only are employers seeing reduced premiums, but efforts to reduce workplace injuries help achieve a healthy labor force, resulting in a decline in rates for the third consecutive year."

Worker's Compensation rates are adjusted yearly by a committee of actuaries from the Wisconsin Compensation Rating Bureau. The committee studies the prior losses (claims) of hundreds of categories and professions throughout the state's employment pool and submits a rate recommendation to the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance, which has final approval over the rates.

“A safe workplace results in a more productive and profitable one for employers," Commissioner of Insurance Ted Nickel said. "Employers are recognizing the relation between their employees' safety and the savings that ensue as premiums continue to decline."

These savings will allow Wisconsin businesses to continue to strengthen their profitability while at the same time ensuring a safe work environment, according to Department of Workforce Development Secretary Ray Allen.

"The Wisconsin business community has much to be proud of," Secretary Allen said. "With a record low unemployment rate of 2.8 percent and what is now a three-year decrease in Worker's Compensation rates, employers and employees alike are thriving. With a record number of people working right now, keeping our current employees safe and in the workforce is a major factor in keeping our labor force participation high."

Allen said the collaborative effort to promote safety also extends to the positive working relationship of the Worker's Compensation Advisory Council, which is made up of representatives from management and labor. The Council recommends changes to law to ensure it keeps up with today's industries and trends.

Questions about the development of the rates can be directed to the Wisconsin Compensation Ratings Bureau at 262-796-4540.

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