Posts tagged: Unemployment insurance
Washington businesses would get a break on this year’s unemployment taxes under a bill headed for a floor vote in the state Senate. It’s projected to save Washington employers about $300 million by halting a planned increase in unemployment insurance rates, the Associated Press reports.
The bill’s a priority for Democratic Gov. Chris Gregoire. She says it has to pass both chambers of the Legislature and be signed into law by Feb. 8 to have an effect on this year’s unemployment tax rates.
Lawmakers also have other issues to consider in the area of unemployment policy, but those topics have been split from the tax-relief bill and will be debated separately. Labor groups have advocated for a new $15-per-child payment for jobless families, but businesses are wary of adding more benefits.
Gov. Chris Gregoire has ambitious reforms planned for Washington's unemployment insurance and workers' compensation programs. Bert Caldwell parses some of the devilish details in his Sunday column.
Unemployment claims in Washington set new records this year, with more than 500,000 jobless workers collecting almost $4.7 billion in benefits.
The Employment Security Department this morning compared the results with 2009, when 475,000 claimants collected $4 billion in benefits, and 2008, when 290,000 collected $1.2 billion.
The federal government, which recently extended long-term benefits, paid 58 percent of the 2010 claims.
Unemployed workers drew benefits for an average 41 weeks, up from 28 weeks in 2009.
Washington’s unemployment insurance tax rate will increase to an average 3.26 percent next year because jobless workers received a record $2 billion in benefits, the Employment Security Department said today.
The unemployment trust fund collected only $1.2 billion during the year, but retained a $2.5 billion balance in the trust fund as of Nov. 30, the department said.
The 2011 rate will be the highest since 1988. The 2009 rate was the lowest in 40 years, but increased to an average 2.39 percent this year as unemployment rates climbed to near double-digit levels.
The state’s 170,000 employers will pay rates ranging from 1.33 percent to six percent on the first $37,000 in worker earnings. Employers delinquent on past payments, or too new to have established a claims history will pay as much as 8.64 percent.