December 7, 2015
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L&I confirms 2 percent average rate increase, nearly double what's required

The Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) has finalized its workers’ compensation rates for 2016, raising them an average of 2 percent. That increase is nearly double what is needed to keep the fund strong and stable. AWB noted that while Washington is increasing rates, Oregon is looking to decrease them by an average of 5 percent.

“The announcement of yet another workers’ compensation tax increase — a $29 million impact on employers, or nearly double what is needed to keep the fund strong — is another blow to employers and employees around the state that are not enjoying the same economic recovery as those in the Puget Sound region,” said AWB President Kris Johnson.

As always, some job classifications will see higher rate increases and some will see decreases. Contact Sports will see an increase of 16 percent, to $15.08 per hour, for example, while bridge, bulkhead and tunnel construction will see a decrease of 12 percent, to $3.75 per hour. Complete tables are online here.

L&I will be sending out its annual rate notices by mail to thousands of employers. Here’s what to do when the letter arrives to ensure classification and payroll changes are correct for 2016.

Olympia Business Watch has more on the rate increase, including how it will take $29 million out of the state’s economy.

To learn more about workers’ comp, contact AWB Government Affairs Director Bob Battles.



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Becoming a Top Ten State

Opportunities begin here in Washington state

By AWB President Kris Johnson and Washington Roundtable President Steve Mullin

The central Puget Sound region and Washington have long been a center of global trade.

A look behind the numbers, however, reveals that many Washingtonians are falling behind. And far too many young people fail to get the education they need to succeed and compete for great jobs being created by Washington employers.
Click here to read the full op-ed from Kris Johnson and Steve Mullin
Investing in Jobs

Boeing incentives are good for WA

By Rob McKenna

We're not talking about tax giveaways here; they're incentives to keep incredibly valuable airplane manufacturing right here in Washington. Our state benefits enormously from Boeing's presence. Just ask governors and business leaders in other states -- they'd love to have even a fraction of Boeing's high-tech manufacturing jobs in their states.

That's why it's somewhat amusing to see the showy handwringing in Olympia recently about these incentives. The tax incentive package passed overwhelmingly in a special session in November 2013 precisely because most state leaders grasp that the economic activity Boeing produces, the high-paying jobs it provides, and the taxes it generates far outweigh the theoretical value of the tax incentives.

Simply put, the incentives are a good deal for the state of Washington -- no handwringing needed.
Click here to read the full blog post at Smarter Government Washington
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