Monthly Archives

January 2019

Unemployment Weekly Claims Report for W/E January 19, 2019

The Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims report for the week ending January 19, 2019 has been released by the Department of Labor.

  • Seasonally adjusted initial claims: 199,000
  • 4 week moving average: 215,000
  • Seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate: 1.2%
  • Seasonally adjusted insured unemployment number: 1,713,000
  • 4-week moving average: 1,729,750
  • Number of unadjusted claims: 267,921
  • Unadjusted insured unemployment rate: 1.5%
  • Unadjusted number claiming UI benefits: 2.089,526

The full news release report can be downloaded here.

 

 

Unemployment Weekly Claims Report

The Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims report for the week ending January 12,  2018 has been released by the Department of Labor.

  • Seasonally adjusted initial claims: 213,000
  • 4 week moving average: 220,750
  • Seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate: 1.2%
  • Seasonally adjusted insured unemployment number: 1,737,000
  • 4‐week moving average: 1,728,500
  • Number of unadjusted claims: 344,916
  • Unadjusted insured unemployment rate: 1.5%
  • Unadjusted number claiming UI benefits: 2,172,396

The full news release report can be downloaded here.

 

Changes In Unemployment Wage Bases For 2019

Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming are states that are seeing a wage base increase this year. Missouri and Vermont are the only states with a decrease.

Some states’ wage base adjustment depends on a percentage of their average annual wage. The following states will see changes in 2020 based on that model: Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington and Wyoming.

Trends forecast that the state of Washington may break a record in 2020 for the first state to exceed $50,000 in an unemployment taxable wage base. We will find out in June.

The wage base of some states depends on the balance of their UI trust fund on a specific date.  Missouri, for example, has a lower wage base for this year due to the balance of their fund being within a higher range.  Delaware and Tennessee use the same method of determining how their wage base may fluctuate.

Other states, such as Louisiana, use a forecast of their trust fund balance to determine adjustments.

Oklahoma and Vermont use a method that combine the percentage of their state average annual wage with the balance of their UI fund.

New York’s wages operate under a set increase law.

Tax Rate Changes for 2019

  • Increases in minimum and maximum tax rates: Massachusetts
  • Decrease in minimum and maximum tax rates: Arizona, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, North Dakota, Texas, Vermont, and Wyoming.
  • Increase in maximum rate with minimum remaining the same: Ohio
  • Decrease in maximum rate with minimum remaining the same: Missouri
  • Decrease in minimum rate with maximum remaining the same: Idaho, Puerto Rico
  • No change in minimum or maximum rates: Montana and Nebraska

New Hampshire adjusts their rates on a quarterly schedule.  They are lower for the first quarter of 2019 than they were most of last year. The rates decreased for the last quarter of last year and remain the same for the current quarter.  The rates for the second quarter of this year are expected in late March.

New York and Mississippi utilize a yearly system and they have yet to finalize the numbers for this year.  New York usually releases the numbers in February and Mississippi follows in March.

Tennessee is expected to release their numbers in the second half of 2019, as they use a 6-month system based on the balance of its UI trust fund.

Changes In Electronic Filing

Employers in the state of Montana (including 3rd party agents which report on behalf of these employers) that employ at least 20 people are now required to file their quarterly unemployment wage reports electronically. This can be done through the state’s online unemployment tax compliance portal.

North Carolina also must now file electronically.  Last year this requirement affected employers that had 25+ employees in North Carolina but this number has been decreased to 10+ employees.

Indiana is expected to begin electronic filing requirements in May when the Quarterly Contribution Report UC-1 will merge with the Quarterly Wage Report UC-5.

 

 

FUTA Updates

Employers in the U.S. Virgin Islands paid a higher than standard federal unemployment tax rate due to the FUTA credit reduction for 2018. If they  continue to have a federal unemployment loan balance by November 10th that does not qualify for credit reduction avoidance, employers would be affected by a credit reduction this year as well. Federal unemployment tax amounts incurred by last year’s credit reduction are due by the end of this year. After six consecutive years of credit reductions for California, they were not a credit reduction jurisdiction for 2018.

Missouri: Minimum Wage Increase

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.

Unemployment Weekly Claims Report

The Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims report for the week ending January 5, 2018 has been released by the Department of Labor.

  • Seasonally adjusted initial claims: 216,000
  • 4 week moving average: 221,750
  • Seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate: 1.2%
  • Seasonally adjusted insured unemployment number: 1,722,000
  • 4‐week moving average: 1,721,250
  • Number of unadjusted claims: 348,709
  • Unadjusted insured unemployment rate: 1.5%
  • Unadjusted number claiming UI benefits: 2,079,861

The full news release report can be downloaded here.

Pennsylvania: Shared‐Work Unemployment Compensation Program

Small companies with seasonal workflows, such as winter heating oil sellers, often struggle with the annual hiring and layoff cycle.  Employees in the state of Pennsylvania have an alternative to such employee layoffs called the Shared-Work Program.  This allows an employer to temporarily reduce staff hours while the employee is simultaneously compensated a percentage of unemployment
weekly benefits during the reduced schedule time period.

Taking the recruiting, hiring and training burden off of employers by allowing them to keep their trained staff during slow seasons has benefited over 200 businesses in the area since the fall of 2018.

Employers requesting this program will need to file a plan with the Department of Labor and Industry that details the group of employees that will incur the same percentage of reduced hours.  Those staff members will be compensated for that percentage of unemployment and have the ability to keep their jobs.

At the end of the slow cycle the employee terminates the plan and employers go back to their regular hours.

Eligible employers must have a record of having filed all UC Tax reports and paid all amounts due under the PA UC law.  Also required is a positive reserve balance and paid wages for 12 consecutive quarters.

Learn more about Pennsylvania’s Shared-Work program here.

 

 

Unemployment Weekly Claims Report

The Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims report for the week ending December 29, 2018 has been released by the Department of Labor.

  • Seasonally adjusted initial claims: 231,000
  • 4 week moving average: 218,750
  • Seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate: 1.2%
  • Seasonally adjusted insured unemployment number: 1,740,000
  • •4-week moving average: 1,703,500
  • Number of unadjusted claims: 323,880
  • Unadjusted insured unemployment rate: 1.3%
  • Unadjusted number claiming UI benefits: 1,788,587

The full news release report can be downloaded here.