The state Department of Labor & Industries on Monday proposed an average rate increase of 2.7 percent for workers’ compensation premiums in 2014.

The department plans to hold public hearings on its proposal next month, with a final decision to come in early December.

The proposed increase, which translates to an average hike of less than 2 cents for every hour worked, follows two straight years of no changes in workers’ comp rates, the department said.

Actual rate changes will vary based on an employer’s industry and history of claims, the L&I announcement said.

    Most Read Stories

The department said an increase is needed to restore its workers’ comp reserves after holding down rates during the recession.

About 160,000 employers — mostly, small and mid-sized businesses — get their workers’ comp insurance through the state. Employers pay about 75 percent of the premiums, with employees covering the remaining 25 percent.

Amy Martinez: 206-464-2923 or amartinez@seattletimes.com. On Twitter: @amyemartinez