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Monthly Archives

April 2021

United States Department of Labor’s Unemployment Claims Report – Week Ending April 24, 2021

The Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims report for the week ending April 24, 2021 has been released by the United States Department of Labor.

Week Ending 4/24 Prior Week
Seasonally adjusted initial claims: 553,000 566,000
4 week moving average: 611,750 655,750
Seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate: 2.60% 2.60%
Seasonally adjusted insured unemployment number: 3,660,000 3,674,000
4-week moving average: 3,684,000 3,713,000
Number of unadjusted claims: 575,350 566,479
Unadjusted insured unemployment rate: 2.70% 2.80%
Unadjusted number claiming UI benefits: 3,790,527 3,862,890

The full news release report can be downloaded here.

As always, we will continue to monitor this situation and provide updates as they become available.  If there are any questions please do not hesitate to contact us or visit our website at www.thomas-and-company.com.

 

 

Kansas to Determine Unemployment Tax Rates with New Schedules Beginning in 2022

Kansas unemployment tax rates will be determined with one of 13 tax rate schedules created to maintain the balance of the state unemployment trust fund, under a measure signed April 26, 2021 by Governor Laura Kelly.

The measure ( H.B. 2196 ), effective with tax rates determined for 2022, states that tax rates may be determined using a standard rate schedule, one of six solvency rate schedules, or one of six credit schedules. The schedule in effect is to continue to be determined by the state’s average high cost multiple, an estimate of the number of years that the trust fund could support unemployment benefit payments without the state needing to raise additional revenue or borrow additional funds.

When a solvency rate schedule is in effect, unemployment tax rates are to increase relative to the standard rate schedule, and when a credit schedule is in effect, tax rates are to decrease relative to the standard rate schedule.

The standard rate schedule is to be in effect when neither a solvency adjustment nor credit adjustment is in effect.  Under the standard schedule, tax rates range from 0.20% to 5.40% for positive-rated employers and from 5.60% to 7.60% for negative-rated employers.

The measure also expands employee eligibility for participation in the state shared-work program.  Employers may reduce the weekly hours and wages of participating employees by 10% to 50% of their normal work hours, whereas employers previously were required to reduce hours and wages by 20% to 40%.

Additionally, negative-rated employers will now be able to participate in the shared-work program when the employer’s most recently calculated reserve ratio has improved from the previous year’s reserve ratio.  Prior to this measure, negative-rated employers were not allowed to take part in the shared-work program.

As always, we will continue to monitor this situation and provide updates as they become available.  If there are any questions please do not hesitate to contact us or visit our website for the latest news and updates.

Update: Florida Issues Further Guidance Relating to Recent Unemployment Tax Legislation

As most of you know, we recently issued a bulletin relating to legislation passed in Florida pertaining to unemployment taxes.  If you didn’t receive our prior article, you can read it here.

As a follow up, the Florida Department of Revenue has issued further guidance relating to SB 50 today.  You can access the entire Tax Information Publication (“TIP”) from the Department here.

In short, this recent TIP reiterates information covered in SB 50:

  • Tax rates for 2021 will be retroactively adjusted and revised tax rate notices will be issued. The revisions will exclude all benefit charges from the second quarter of 2020 and prevents the application of the positive adjustment factor, which normally increases when the trust fund balance decreases.
  • Tax payment extensions for the first quarter of 2021 remain in effect due to Executive Order #21-80. The payment deadline for first quarter 2021 is May 28, 2021.
  • Tax rates for 2022-2025 will exclude benefit charges from the second, third, and fourth quarters of 2020 and all benefit charges paid as a direct result of a government order to close or reduce capacity of a business due to COVID-19. It will also exclude the application of the positive adjustment factor.  And lastly, benefit charges from the first and second quarters of 2021 may be decreased if total tax collection for rate year 2022 exceeds $475.5 million.

Florida Passes Legislation Retroactively Lowering 2021 Unemployment Tax Rates

Florida employers have been shocked by the increase in unemployment tax rates in 2021.  Those rate increases were not a result of an increase in benefit charges assigned to employer’s accounts; Florida passed legislation in  2020 to remove benefit charges from the 2021 & 2022 tax rate computations assuming those charges were a result of unemployment claims associated with COVID-19.  However, due to the significant decrease in the state’s UI trust fund, statutory triggers went into effect that resulted in increases to several adjustment factors included in the total tax rate.  The Multiplier increased from -0.3778% to 2.3934% and the Final Adjustment Factor increased from -0.02% to 0.29%.  Due to Florida employers’ feedback and concern, the Florida Legislature and Department of Revenue have passed two separate pieces of legislation, retroactively lowering 2021 unemployment tax rates and extending tax payment deadlines for all employers in the state.

Governor Ron DeSantis signed Executive Order # 21-80 into law on March 29, 2021 which extends the due date for payment of unemployment tax for the first quarter of 2021 to May 28, 2021 as opposed to April 30, 2021.  However, the extension only applies to payments; employers are still required to complete and submit the Employer’s Quarterly Report (Form RT-6) no later than April 30, 2021.

Additionally, the Florida Senate passed Senate Bill 50 on April 12, 2021 and Gov. DeSantis signed it into law on April 19, 2021.  SB 50’s main initiative is to require sales tax collection from businesses who sell products online but have a physical presence in the state.  This additional revenue collected through online sales tax will go directly to the state’s unemployment trust fund thereby replenishing it to pre-pandemic levels.  In turn, SB 50 states that this will result in a retroactive tax rate decrease for calendar year 2021.

Although this is exciting news for Florida employers, SB 50 does not define what changes will occur to result in a rate decrease for 2021.  Similarly, the representatives with the Department of Revenue have not yet determined the effects of SB 50 and the resulting rate revisions.

Absent of receiving a revised 2021 unemployment tax rate currently, it would be our recommendation to our clients to file the Employer’s Quarterly Report (Form RT-6) no later than April 30, 2021 but withhold payment of taxes due for the first quarter of 2021 until either a revised tax rate notice is received or the deadline to make payment of May 28, 2021 arrives.

As always, we will continue to monitor this situation and provide updates as they become available.  If there are any questions please do not hesitate to contact us or visit our website at www.thomas-and-company.com.

United States Department of Labor’s Unemployment Claims Report – Week Ending April 17, 2021

The Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims report for the week ending April 17, 2021 has been released by the United States Department of Labor.

Week Ending 4/17 Prior Week
Seasonally adjusted initial claims: 547,000 576,000
4 week moving average: 651,000 683,000
Seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate: 2.60% 2.70%
Seasonally adjusted insured unemployment number: 3,674,000 3,731,000
4-week moving average: 3,713,000 3,763,000
Number of unadjusted claims: 566,479 612,919
Unadjusted insured unemployment rate: 2.80% 2.80%
Unadjusted number claiming UI benefits: 3,862,890 3,936,696

The full news release report can be downloaded here.

As always, we will continue to monitor this situation and provide updates as they become available.  If there are any questions please do not hesitate to contact us or visit our website at www.thomas-and-company.com.

 

 

 

 

 

United States Department of Labor’s Unemployment Claims Report – Week Ending April 10, 2021

The Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims report for the week ending April 10, 2021 has been released by the United States Department of Labor:

Week Ending 4/10 Prior Week
Seasonally adjusted initial claims: 576,000 719,000
4 week moving average: 683,000 719,000
Seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate: 2.70% 2.70%
Seasonally adjusted insured unemployment number: 3,731,000 3,794,000
4-week moving average: 3,763,000 3,978,500
Number of unadjusted claims: 612,919 714,433
Unadjusted insured unemployment rate: 2.80% 2.90%
Unadjusted number claiming UI benefits: 3,936,696 4,142,940

The full news release report can be downloaded here.

As always, we will continue to monitor this situation and provide updates as they become available.  If there are any questions please do not hesitate to contact us or visit our website at www.thomas-and-company.com.

 

Kentucky Passes Legislation Retroactively Lowering 2021 Unemployment Tax Rates

The Kentucky House of Representatives has passed House Bill 413, retroactively lowering 2021 unemployment tax rates for all employers in the state.

House Bill 413 was introduced on February 9, 2021 and the bill received full support from the Economic Development & Workforce Investment Committee as well as employers within the state who have seen a drastic increase in their state unemployment tax rates from 2020 to 2021.

HB 413 freezes the UI tax rate schedule at Schedule A for 2021; a decrease from the originally assigned Schedule E.  This allows rates to return to 2020 levels providing relief to all experience-rated employers.  Due to this change, tax rates will range from 0.30% to 9.00%.  The new-employer tax rate will remain at 2.70% for 2021.

Additionally, HB 413 will decrease the 2021 unemployment taxable wage base from $11,100 to $10,800.

One issue remains: Will the Kentucky Division of Unemployment Insurance be able to generate and issue revised 2021 tax rate notices for all employer prior to the first quarter 2021 filing and payment deadline of April 30, 2021?  In speaking with representatives at the Division, the expectation is to send out these revisions “in the next couple of weeks”.  In the absence of a revised tax rate notice reflecting the employer’s newly lowered rate for 2021, the Division has provided guidance indicating that employers should pay at their originally assigned rate under Schedule E.  That will generate an overpayment on the employer’s account and at that point, the employer can either use that overpayment toward future tax liabilities or a refund can be requested via the agency website.

As always, we will continue to monitor this situation and provide updates as they become available.  If there are any questions please do not hesitate to contact us or visit our website at www.thomas-and-company.com.

Unemployment Weekly Claims Report for the Week-Ending March 27, 2021

The Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims report for the week ending March 27, 2021 has been released by the Department of Labor.

  • Seasonally adjusted initial claims: 719,000
  • 4 week moving average: 719,000
  • Seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate: 2.7%
  • Seasonally adjusted insured unemployment number: 3,794,000
  • 4-week moving average: 3,978,500
  • Number of unadjusted claims: 714,433
  • Unadjusted insured unemployment rate: 2.9%
  • Unadjusted number claiming UI benefits: 4,142,940

The full news release report can be downloaded here.

North Carolina Passes Legislation Retroactively Lowering 2021 Unemployment Tax Rates

The North Carolina Senate has passed Senate Bill 114, retroactively lowering 2021 unemployment tax rates for all employers in the state.

Senate Bill 114 was introduced in the February 17, 2021 General Assembly Session by the North Carolina Unemployment Oversight Committee.  This bill received full support from the North Carolina Division of Employment Security as well as employers within the state who have seen a drastic increase in their state unemployment tax rates from 2020 to 2021.  All this even though the NC DES excluded COVID-related benefit charges from the 2021 tax rate calculation.

SB 114 reduces the base contribution rate from 2.40% to 1.90% thus causing rates to fall back to 2020, pre-pandemic levels.  This may result in an unemployment insurance tax rate reduction of up to 0.50% for each active, experience-rated employer.  The North Carolina Department of Employment Security has begun recalculating tax rate based on this change and the target date of issuance is April 12, 2021.  Important items to note are as follows:

  • Employers who are affected by this change will receive a revised 2021 Tax Rate Notice by mail. For our clients, those revisions will be mailed to our office and we will send them out to you upon review and verification.
  • Employers whose tax rate for 2021 is already at the minimum rate allowed by law (0.06%) will not be affected by this change and will not receive a revised notice.
  • Employers whose tax rate for 2021 is already at the maximum rate allowed by law (5.76%) may or may not receive a rate reduction, depending on individual recalculation results.
  • Employers who have the new-employer rate (1.00%) will not be affected by this change and will not receive a revised notice.

As always, if there are any questions please do not hesitate to contact us or visit our website at www.thomas-and-company.com.