Fiscal Data for State Unemployment Insurance Systems 2006-2015

//Fiscal Data for State Unemployment Insurance Systems 2006-2015

Fiscal Data for State Unemployment Insurance Systems 2006-2015

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The National Foundation publishes this Bulletin as an annual “report card” on the financial condition and related performance indicators for state unemployment insurance (UI) programs. This issue of the Bulletin analyzes the fiscal status and solvency of state unemployment insurance systems for the ten year period from 2006 – 2015. In the 2016 Report, we quantify the increase in FUTA taxes in particular and project increases for the following year. In 2017 it appears that only California and the Virgin Islands will be subject to a special Benefit Cost Rate Add-on for the FUTA rate. The BCR Add-on can be waived by the USDOL as long as the state does not reduce the net solvency of its UI trust fund account and meets other requirements.  We expect all states will avoid the BCR Add-on for 2016. A final determination will be made after November 10th.

With this caveat we provide a comparison of state UI tax rates and benefit duration.

For 2015 the states with the highest average employer tax rates as a percent of total wages were:

  • Oregon                      1.6%
  • Rhode Island            1.5%
  • Vermont                   1.5%
  • Alaska                        1.4%
  • Pennsylvania           1.3%
  • Nevada                      1.2%
  • New Jersey               1.2%
  • New Mexico             1.2%

The lowest were:

  • Louisiana                  0.3%
  • Nebraska                  0.3%
  • New Hampshire      0.3%
  • South Dakota          0.3%
  • Tennessee                0.3%
  • DC                               0.4%
  • Mississippi                0.4%
  • Oklahoma                0.4%
  • Virginia                      0.4%

Note: this measure provides an average rate comparison that is not tied to the taxable wages that vary considerably by state. However, it is tied to total wages which vary by state and by industrial mix within a state.

For 2015 the states with the highest state UI average tax per covered employee were:

  • Rhode Island            $714
  • New Jersey               $709
  • Oregon                      $696
  • Alaska                        $685
  • Vermont                   $637
  • Pennsylvania           $627
  • Connecticut             $609

The lowest were

  • South Dakota          $115
  • Nebraska                  $130
  • Tennessee                $133
  • Mississippi                $151
  • New Hampshire      $151
  • Louisiana                  $155
  • Oklahoma                $159
  • Florida                       $190
  • Alabama                    $193

For 2015 the states with the longest duration of state UI claims on average were

  • Delaware                  19.1 weeks
  • Puerto Rico              18.7 weeks
  • Kentucky                  18.3 weeks
  • Massachusetts        18.0 weeks
  • New Jersey               18.0 Weeks
  • DC                               17.9 weeks
  • Connecticut             17.7 weeks
  • California                  17.5 weeks

The national trend from 2014 to 2015 was a reduction in average duration from 16.4 weeks to 15.5 weeks. A small number of states saw increases in average duration, including Louisiana, North Dakota and Vermont.

The report also provides an update and trend analysis of employer taxes, trust fund loans, FUTA offset credit reductions, trust fund solvency, administrative financing, benefit accuracy measurement, and experience rating index.

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