Monthly Archives

November 2018

Unemployment Weekly Claims Report for W/E November 17, 2018

The Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims report for the week ending November 17, 2018 has been released by the Department of Labor.

  • Seasonally adjusted initial claims: 224,000
  • 4 week moving average: 218,500
  • Seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate: 1.2%
  • Seasonally adjusted insured unemployment number: 1,668,000
  • 4‐week moving average: 1,649,750
  • Number of unadjusted claims: 226,063
  • Unadjusted insured unemployment rate: 1.0%
  • Unadjusted number claiming UI benefits: 1,452,633

The full news release report can be downloaded here.

Missouri: Minimum Wage Rate

Effective January 1, 2019, the established minimum wage rate in the state of Missouri will be $8.60. This law applies to all private businesses, with the exception of retail/service companies with annual gross sales under $500,000. Each year, this rate will increase by 85 cents until the year 2023. The state’s minimum wage may not be lower than the federal minimum wage and tipped employees must total at least $8.60 per hour. A poster displaying this new law can be printed here.

More information about Missouri’s minimum wage laws can be found here.

 

California: DUA For Recent Fires

As disastrous fires continue to burn in various parts of California, we are keeping an eye on announcements from the California Employment Development Department regarding available benefits for those affected.

As of the time of this post, Federal Disaster Unemployment Assistance is available for the following counties:

Butte County (Camp Fire):
For losses beginning the week of 11/11/18
Deadline to file claim: 12/14/18

Los Angeles and Ventura Counties (Hill and Woolsey Fires):
For losses beginning the week of 11/11/18
Deadline to file claim: 12/14/18

Lake County (Ranch and River Fires):
For losses beginning the week of 7/29/18
Late applications may be considered

We would also like to share that employers affected by these disasters may be eligible for a 60-day extension to file state payroll reports as well as deposit payroll taxes without interest or penalty.  More information about this request can be found here.

UI and Tax representatives are available to help in Local Assistance Centers through the State OES

We will continue to provide updates as they become available.

More information can be found online and as always, don’t hesitate to reach out  to us with any questions.

 

Unemployment Weekly Claims Report for W/E November 10, 2018

The Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims report for the week ending November 10,  2018 has been released by the Department of Labor.

  • Seasonally adjusted initial claims: 216,000
  • 4 week moving average: 215,250
  • Seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate: 1.2%
  • Seasonally adjusted insured unemployment number: 1,676,000
  • Number of unadjusted claims: 236,654
  • Unadjusted insured unemployment rate: 1.0%
  • Unadjusted number claiming UI benefits: 1,441,752

The full news release report can be downloaded here

 

 

Federal Unemployment Tax Rates for 2018 Released

After years of recovery from the 2008 recession and year-over-year increases in FUTA taxes due from employers in California, it has finally happened: the state of California has finally met the requirements necessary to avoid FUTA credit reductions for 2018.  The United States Department of Labor has published the official notice which you can view at https://oui.doleta.gov/unemploy/futa_credit.asp.

The net FUTA tax rate in California (after offset) for 2018 will go down from the 2017 rate of 2.70% (which includes the 2.10% credit reduction) to the regular 0.60% on the $7,000 taxable wage base.  As a result, California employers will save $147 per employee in federal unemployment taxes in 2018 ($189 per employee in 2017 versus $42 per employee in 2018).

Thomas & Company first reported this anticipated reduction in May 2018 but now it is official.

This leaves the Virgin Islands as the only state unemployment agency with an outstanding Title XII debt and a FUTA tax that will continue to increase with the offset credit reductions that apply.  The Virgin Islands net FUTA tax will be increased from 2.70% to 3.00% on the $7,000 taxable wage base.  The 2018 tax per employee will now be much higher than any other state at approximately $210 per employee.

The significant reduction in FUTA taxes due on employers in California will provide relief in cash flow as employers pay 2018 FUTA taxes before January 31, 2019.  However, it also means a significant loss in revenue to improve the California UI trust fund that remains at a level that is not sufficient to cover increased benefits that would be paid in an economic downturn.

As a reminder, FUTA credit reductions are imposed when the state UI trust fund borrows from the Federal Unemployment Account and does not repay the loan prior to November 10th in the second consecutive year, leaving an outstanding Title XII loan on January 1st.

As always, if there are any questions please do not hesitate to contact us.

Unemployment Weekly Claims Report for W/E November 3, 2018

The Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims report for the week ending November 3,  2018 has been released by the Department of Labor.

  • Seasonally adjusted initial claims: 214,000
  • 4 week moving average: 213,750
  • Seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate: 1.1%
  • Seasonally adjusted insured unemployment number: 1,623,000 •4‐week moving average: 1,633,250
  • Number of unadjusted claims: 213,978
  • Unadjusted insured unemployment rate: 1.0%
  • Unadjusted number claiming UI benefits: 1,386,337

The full news release report can be downloaded here.

 

 

T&C Recognizes Cybersecurity Awareness Month

This October, Thomas & Company joined the Department of Homeland Security to raise cybersecurity awareness across the nation during National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM).

The overarching theme for NCSAM was Cybersecurity is Our Shared Responsibility and We All Must Work Together to Improve our Nation’s Cybersecurity. Cybersecurity is not just the responsibility of governments, companies, groups, or individuals.  Everyone shares the responsibility for cybersecurity – from the average smart-phone user to a corporate CEO.

ORGANIZATIONAL ACTIONS
  • Introduced TechGaurd Security as our new security awareness training platform to provide T&C associates with the necessary training and resources to further protect against cybercrime. Founded to address national cyber defense initiatives, TechGuard Security offers a robust library of security training curriculum which allows our team to perform more frequent security learning to keep security top of mind. TechGuard was utilized out of the gate to facilitate a number of security awareness simulations and compliance tests for T&C associates.
  • Featured best practices and tips to protect both the company and individuals against common cyber-crime tactics and scams in the T&C newsletter and via digital signage throughout the break rooms in our offices.
  • Hosted an all-hands, company-wide assembly to welcome Matt Dunn, retired FBI Special Agent and Supervisor of the Cyber Crimes/Counterintelligence Squad in the FBI’s Nashville Resident Agency to educate T&C with his experience.
  • Arranged some friendly competition between teams and departments to test our knowledge and awareness based on the events and initiatives from NCSAM 2018.
THE T&C COMMITMENT TO CYBERSECURITY

We are proud to serve as an extension of our clients’ HR, Payroll, and Tax teams and are responsible for protecting employee data as if it were our own.  Organizational security is one of the most critical controls we have in place as part of our overall security program.  All T&C associates receive security, privacy and compliance training from the moment they start and complete continuing education including exercises such as these conducted as part of NCSAM.

CYBERSECURITY EDUCATION IN ACTION

During the month of October, Thomas & Company conducted an  unannounced cybersecurity evaluation aimed to help determine  our level of organizational cybersecurity awareness, and action.  Using traditional evaluation methods, along with internal “cyber-crime” simulations we were able to identify those Thomas & Company staff members most vigilant and proactive regarding cybersecurity.

It is worth noting that overall Thomas & Company’s employee cybersecurity awareness statistics were extremely high compared to similar organizations.

Wisconsin: DUA

A major disaster was declared by the President on October 18th in the state of Wisconsin.  Severe storms with flooding, landslides, and other damage caused significant workforce disruption. The Department of Workforce Development (DWD) is accepting applications for DUA benefits for those in the following 8 counties: Crawford, Dane, Juneau, La Crosse, Monroe, Richland, Sauk, and Vernon.

It is important to note that you must file for regular unemployment benefits before applying for DUA. If you are eligible for unemployment you will not receive DUA.

Deadline: November 23, 2018

File your claim online and learn more at https://dwd.wi.gov/ui/dua

 

 

Alaska: Minimum Wage Increase

A ballot passed by voters back in 2014 raised the minimum wage in the state of Alaska by one dollar in 2015 and 2016. The vote states the rate would continue to be adjusted for inflation each year, which will bring the rate up to $9.89 from $9.84 starting in 2019.

Law requires the state minimum wage rate remain at least one dollar an hour above the federal rate. Tips do not count toward the minimum wage, but it applies to all hours in a pay period, regardless of whether the employee is paid by time, piece, commission, etc. Bus drivers in the state of Alaska earn wages that cannot be less than double the minimum wage amount based on a 40-hour work week. This maintains their exempt status.

More details on wage laws in the state of Alaska can be found at:  http://labor.alaska.gov/lss/whhome.htm.

 

 

Unemployment Weekly Claims Report for the W/E October 27,2018

The Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims report for the week ending October  27, 2018 has been released by the Department of Labor.

  • Seasonally adjusted initial claims: 214,000
  • 4 week moving average: 213,750
  • Seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate: 1.1%
  • Seasonally adjusted insured unemployment number: 1,631,000
  • 4-week moving average: 1,640,750
  • Number of unadjusted claims: 197,518
  • Unadjusted insured unemployment rate: 1.0%
  • Unadjusted number claiming UI benefits: 1,383,254

The full news release report can be downloaded here.