Monthly Archives

May 2019

Unemployment Weekly Claims Report for W/E May 18, 2019

The Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims report for the week ending May 18, 2019 has been released by the Department of Labor.

  • Seasonally adjusted initial claims: 211,000
  • 4 week moving average: 220,250
  • Seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate: 1.2%
  • Seasonally adjusted insured unemployment number: 1,676,000
  • 4-week moving average: 1,674,250
  • Number of unadjusted claims: 191,289
  • Unadjusted insured unemployment rate: 1.1%
  • Unadjusted number claiming UI benefits: 1,537,165

The full news release report can be downloaded here.

 

Unemployment Weekly Claims Report for W/E May 11, 2019

The Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims report for the week ending May 11, 2019 has been released by the Department of Labor.

  • Seasonally adjusted initial claims: 212,000
  • 4 week moving average: 225,000
  • Seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate: 1.2%
  • Seasonally adjusted insured unemployment number: 1,660,000
  • 4-week moving average: 1,668,250
  • Number of unadjusted claims: 187,689
  • Unadjusted insured unemployment rate: 1.1%
  • Unadjusted number claiming UI benefits: 1,535,909

The full news release report can be downloaded here.

ALASKA: UI REFUNDS

Some Alaskans may be eligible for a refund of UI contributions from last year.  The Department of Labor and Workforce Development in the state has listed the following qualifications for being a potential recipient of a refund:

  • Employee that has worked for more than one employer
  • Employee that made over $39,500 in the year 2018
  • Employee that made over $197.50 in UI contributions in the year 2018

Those who meet the above qualifications can access a refund form here.

Alternatively, you can request a paper form here:

Alaska Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

Employment Security Tax
P.O. Box 115509
Juneau, AK  99811-5509

Be prepared to provide proof of earnings and UI payments. This can often be found listed on an employee’s W-2 form (Box 15). Pay stubs are also a good place to find this information. If finding the proof is difficult, a worker can always ask their employer to provide the information.

Important: Deadline for submitting forms and proof of earnings/payment is December 31, 2019

Ups & Downs: State By State Unemployment Rates

The overall unemployment rate in the United States is at a low of 3.6%. It can be interesting to monitor the constant changes in unemployment rates between states. Let’s take a look at the ups and downs happening around the nation this month.

The following states have seen an uptick in rates to the following levels:

CA: 4.3%

CT: 3.9%

IL: 4.4%

IN: 3.6%

MN: 3.2%

Other states have seen a bit of a decrease to the following levels:

AR: 3.7%

AZ: 5.0%

MT: 3.7%

OH: 4.4%

PA: 3.9%

RI: 3.8%

The state of New Hampshire remains the same and rumor has it that New Jersey and South Dakota are expected to see a fall in coming months.

 

NEBRASKA: UNEMPLOYMENT TAXES PAID ANNUALLY

An amendment to the state administrative code in Nebraska now gives employers a choice to pay unemployment taxes annually as opposed to quarterly. The change went into effect on April 10th. Employers must have a positive account balance on October 31st and are not eligible if they have any delinquent unemployment tax issues. Employers must also report hours worked. Eligible companies may begin the annual payments in 2020, with payments being made by January 31 of the following year. It is important the employers electing this option notify the commissioner by the 15th of February in the year the annual payment will be made. Click here for more information on Nebraska filing options.

 

Unemployment Weekly Claims Report for W/E May 4, 2019

The Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims report for the week ending May 4, 2019 has been released by the Department of Labor.

  • Seasonally adjusted initial claims: 228,000
  • 4 week moving average: 220,250
  • Seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate: 1.2%
  • Seasonally adjusted insured unemployment number: 1,684,000
  • 4-week moving average: 1,665,750
  • Number of unadjusted claims: 203,547
  • Unadjusted insured unemployment rate: 1.1%
  • Unadjusted number claiming UI benefits: 1,630,323

The full news release report can be downloaded here.

Unemployment Weekly Claims Report for W/E April 27, 2019

The Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims report for the week ending April 27, 2019 has been released by the Department of Labor.

  • Seasonally adjusted initial claims: 230,000
  • 4 week moving average: 212,500
  • Seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate: 1.2%
  • Seasonally adjusted insured unemployment number: 1,655,000
  • 4-week moving average: 1,671,000
  • Number of unadjusted claims: 204,035
  • Unadjusted insured unemployment rate: 1.1%
  • Unadjusted number claiming UI benefits: 1,647,464

The full news release report can be downloaded here.

KENTUCKY UNEMPLOYMENT NEWS

UNEMPLOYMENT HEARINGS PROCEDURE IN KENTUCKY

On April 26th, 2019 the Kentucky Court of Appeals issued a ruling which, if upheld, could have a major impact in the way employer’s are able to approach participating in administrative unemployment hearings.  Up until this ruling an employer could have a manager or other designated party represent their interests at an unemployment hearing, or designate a third-party company.  Since these unemployment proceedings are administrative in nature, and relatively informal, the statute in Kentucky did not require that the representation be by a licensed attorney.

The Kentucky statute, KRS 341.470(3) provides that: (a) Any employer in any proceeding before a referee or the commission may represent himself or be represented by counsel or other agent duly authorized by such employer; and (b) any person appearing in any proceeding before a referee or the commission is an officer of, or who regularly performs in a managerial capacity for, a corporation or partnership that is a party to the proceeding in which the appearance is made shall be permitted to represent such corporation or partnership and shall be afforded the opportunity to participate in the proceeding without restriction. 

The ruling issued April 26th found the above KY statute unconstitutional based on a 1998 Kentucky Supreme Court ruling surrounding a worker’s compensation case which found that “Legal representation by a lay person before an adjudicatory tribunal, however informal,… as such representation involves advocacy that would constitute the practice of law.”  Turner, 980 S.W.2d at 564.

DOES THIS IMPACT OUR COMPANY’S PARTNERSHIP WITH THOMAS & COMPANY?

No, this does not impact our ability to process UI claims, audit your benefit charges or manage your UI tax accounts as this ruling only impacts the hearing procedure.

WHAT ABOUT PAST CASES?

The Court of Appeals did emphasize that the ruling regarding the constitutionality of this statute should only apply prospectively, meaning that it will not impact cases already decided prior to this ruling.

WHAT ABOUT UPCOMING HEARINGS?

Thomas and Company is currently working the with state agency to gather more information about the impact of this ruling and to provide our clients informed guidance for future hearings.  It is our hope that Kentucky employers will still be given the opportunity to  contest unemployment hearings without having to choose between the cost of an attorney at each hearing versus the potential impact on their state unemployment tax rates.  As more details arise out of this decision we will be immediately informing our clients of our findings.

If you have immediate questions please reach out to our VP of Regulatory Affairs, Mike Parker at MParker@Thomas-and- Company.com or (615) 242-8246.

To access a downloadable PDF covering this information, please click here.