2015 Significant Measures of State UI Tax Systems Report Shows State Differences in UI Tax Burden

On August 12th, the US Department of Labor released the Significant Measures of State UI Tax Systems report reviewing state data for 2014. The report is available by link to http://workforcesecurity.doleta.gov/unemploy/pdf/sigmeasuitaxsys14.pdf. The report demonstrates the variation state by state in the distribution of UI tax burden and identifies areas to be addressed by policy and or legislative reform.

On average UI taxable employers paid $398 per employee in UI taxes, which was equivalent to $.79 per every hundred dollars paid in wages.

  • Forty–seven percent of taxable employers paid less than $.50 in UI taxes for every hundred dollars of wages paid.
  • Thirty-seven percent of taxable employers paid the lowest tax rate in state rate schedules, (five states had a 0% tax rate assigned to those employers).
  • Six percent of taxable employers were assigned the highest tax rate.
  • The average UI tax rate in 44 states was below a calculated Minimum Adequate Financing Rate.
  • On average the state average tax rate was 14% below the state Minimum Adequate Financing Rate.
  • Five percent of the total benefits paid were made to claimants that were laid off from firms that went out of business.
  • Seven percent of UI benefits were paid to claimants who were laid off from a non-taxed reimbursable employer (Federal, state, or local government, or non-profit organization).

States with the highest tax as a percentage of total wages included:

Oregon

Alaska

Vermont

Rhode Island

New Jersey

Pennsylvania

States with the lowest tax as a percentage of total wages included:

Tennessee

Louisiana

South Dakota

Nebraska

DC

States deemed to be most adequately financed included:

Wyoming

Oklahoma

Utah

Oregon

Alabama

State deemed to be least adequately financed included:

Virgin Islands

Indiana

Tennessee

Ohio

California

UWC is preparing the UI Fiscal Data Bulletin that will include more specifics as well as integrity measures for state by state comparison.