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Mon., Oct. 18, 2010, 9:41 a.m.

Unpaid employment taxes triple

Washington employers have not paid unemployment taxes for 11,485 workers so far in 2010, triple the number for the first three quarters of 2009, the Employment Security Department reported today.

Auditors found $196 million in unreported wages and $2.12 million in unpaid taxes, the depatment said, adding that employer failure to pay jeopardizes the ability of their employees to qualify for unemployment benefits.

The department said freight trucking, schools, contractors and salons were among the industries where unreported workers were most frequently found.

The U.S. Department of Labor awarded ESD its Innovations in Integrity Award  for its audits targeting industries where non-reporting is most likely.

"We're getting better at this," said Employment Security Commissioner Paul Trause. "That's bad news for employers that aren't paying by the rules." 

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Bert Caldwell
Bert Caldwell oversees production of the opinion pages, including writing editorials, and editing and selecting letters, columns and cartoons.