Monthly Archives

June 2021

Texas Finalizes 2021 Unemployment Tax Rates

The Texas Workforce Commission has finally set employer’s tax rates for 2021 and the range of rates remains the same as 2020, 0.31% to 6.31%.

Despite having the same range of rates, 2021 tax rates are slightly less favorable due to an increase in several of the components used to calculate the final rate:

  • The Replenishment Ratio has increased from 1.32 to 1.36
  • The Interest Tax Rate has increased from 0.00% to 0.03%
  • The Unemployment Obligation Assessment Rate has increased from 0.00% to 0.03%
  • The Replenishment Tax Rate has increased from 0.18% to 0.21%

The taxable wage base remains at $9,000 for 2021 as originally reported.

The TWC has stated that all notices of 2021 rates will be mailed no later than July 2, 2021.  We will verify these tax rate calculations upon receipt and forward them to you as quickly as possible so that you can make any rate adjustments for your second quarter 2021 payment.

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.

United States Department of Labor’s Unemployment Claims Report – Week Ending June 19, 2021

The Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims report for the week ending June 19, 2021 has been released by the United States Department of Labor.

Week Ending 6/19 Prior Week
Seasonally adjusted initial claims: 411,000 412,000
4 week moving average: 397,750 395,000
Seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate: 2.40% 2.50%
Seasonally adjusted insured unemployment number: 3,390,000 3,518,000
4-week moving average: 3,552,500 3,603,750
Number of unadjusted claims: 393,078 402,352
Unadjusted insured unemployment rate: 2.30% 2.40%
Unadjusted number claiming UI benefits: 3,210,285 3,288,318

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 for the latest news and updates.

Top Work Places 2021

Winning the Top Workplaces award is proof this organization really does put our people first.  It means having a group of employees who strive to make today better than yesterday.  A group of managers who own their performance, their team’s performance, the company’s performance, and the clients’ experience.  A group of people who make you feel like family.

We are honored to win this award because the judges were our very own employees!

We value this award because we have always provided a voice to our employees.  Every month we do a survey pulse check to measure engagement, evaluate feedback & make adjustments.  The longer form survey through TN Top Work Places, gathers responses on 24 factors covering seven areas, including organizational health factors that measure how well employees are working together toward a common cause:

  • Alignment — where the company is headed, its values, cooperation
  • Effectiveness — doing things well, sharing different viewpoints, encouraging new ideas
  • Connection — employees feel appreciated, their work is meaningful
  • My manager — cares about concerns, helps employees learn and grow

In addition, the survey asks employees about other factors:

  • Employee engagement — motivation, retention and referral
  • Leader — confidence in company leadership
  • The basics — pay, benefits, flexibility, training, expectations

In our office, our community, and our personal lives we support and encourage each other to push past what we thought was possible and actualize our potential.  Thank you to our clients & the Thomas & Company family for empowering us with purpose & allowing us to enable your success.

United States Department of Labor’s Unemployment Claims Report – Week Ending June 12, 2021

The Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims report for the week ending June 12, 2021 has been released by the United States Department of Labor.

Week Ending 6/12 Prior Week
Seasonally adjusted initial claims: 412,000 376,000
4 week moving average: 395,000 402,500
Seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate: 2.50% 2.50%
Seasonally adjusted insured unemployment number: 3,518,000 3,499,000
4-week moving average: 3,603,750 3,651,250
Number of unadjusted claims: 402,352 367,117
Unadjusted insured unemployment rate: 2.40% 2.40%
Unadjusted number claiming UI benefits: 3,288,318 3,315,550

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 for the latest news and updates.

Tennessee Unemployment Tax Rate Calculations to Exclude All Benefit Charges

The Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development announced that unemployment tax rate calculations for the one-year period July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022 are to exclude all unemployment benefits claimed during the COVID-19 pandemic in a measure signed by Governor Bill Lee.

Under the measure (SB 2520), unemployment benefits paid from March 14, 2021 through July 3, 2021 will not be charged to employers’ accounts for the purposes of computing the 2021-2022 state unemployment tax rate.  This is an extension of previous laws and executive orders which in total now exclude charges beginning March 15, 2020 running through July 3, 2021.

The purpose of SB 2520 is to curb a sharp increase in tax rates for the one-year period July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022 and future years, thus allowing Tennessee employers an opportunity to reinvest in their businesses after the COVID-19 pandemic.

No action is required by employers at this time.  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.

Texas Unemployment Tax Rates Hold Steady for 2021

The Texas Workforce Commission announced that unemployment tax rates for 2021 will remain at pre-pandemic levels in accordance with legislative authority enacted.

As you may recall, the TWC announced in March 2021 that 2021 unemployment tax rates would be delayed while they coordinate with the Texas Legislature and the Governor’s Office to explore opportunities to keep tax rates as low as possible following the historic unemployment claims volume seen in 2020.  Our prior post relating to the March announcement can be found here.

Based on this week’s announcement from the TWC, Texas employers can expect to see lower tax rates than expected when the 2021 rates are finally released later this month.  They confirmed that the three adjustment factors included in the overall rate will remain unchanged for 2021:

  • UI Replenishment Rate = 0.18%
  • Deficit Tax Rate = 0.00%
  • Obligation Assessment = 0.03%

The purpose of holding the tax rate low is to curb a sharp increase in tax rates for 2021 and future years, thus allowing Texas employers an opportunity to reinvest in their businesses after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here are a few quotes from TWC leadership as to why this decision was made:

“Texas employers continue to overcome the challenges of the past year and contribute to a strengthening economy.  Today’s action on UI taxes enables businesses to better focus resources on innovating and expanding jobs available to Texas workers.” – TWC Chairman Bryan Daniel

“Texas workers are eager to get back to work and help move our economy forward.  This decision to keep taxes low will encourage hiring and expand opportunities for working Texans.” – TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Julian Alvarez

“This decision gives stability and predictability to our UI tax structure.  Texas employers and Business leaders look forward to that stability especially after a year of rampant uncertainty.  This gives them the capacity they need to hire, expand and get Texas’ economy back on track.” – TWC Commissioner Representing Employers Aaron Demerson

No action is required by employers at this time.  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.

 

Washington Unemployment Taxable Wage Base to Rise in 2022

The Washington Employment Security Department announced today that the unemployment taxable wage base is set to rise to $62,500 in 2022, up from $56,500 in 2021.

This will be the highest taxable wage base ever implemented by any state and the first to exceed $60,000.

The ESD has historically tied the taxable wage base to the state’s average annual wage.  This causes automatic increases or decreases each year.  The average annual wage rose to $76,741 in 2020, a 10.1% increase from 2019.

In a news release, the Department said “The higher than normal increase in reported average wages can be attributed to the fact that thousands of lower-paid workers lost their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic and higher-paid workers remained employed.  While it is common for the average wage to rise during recessions, since lower wage workers are more likely to be laid off than higher paid ones, the shift during the pandemic recession was much more dramatic than during the Great Recession.”

The average annual wage is also used to calculate weekly unemployment benefit amounts in Washington.  As of July 4, 2021, unemployment benefits will range from $295 to $929 per week.

No action is required by employers at this time.  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.

 

New Jersey Unemployment Tax Rate Calculations to Exclude COVID-19 Related Benefit Charges

The New Jersey Department of Labor & Workforce Development announced that unemployment tax rate calculations for the one-year period July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022 are to exclude unemployment benefits related to the COVID-19 pandemic in a measure signed by Governor Phil Murphy.

Under the measure (AB 4853), unemployment benefits paid from March 9, 2020 through December 31, 2020 will not be charged to employers’ accounts for the purposes of computing the 2021-2022 state unemployment tax rate if the reason for separation was “virus-related”.

The law also limits the move over the next three fiscal years to higher rate schedules, which are expected to trigger due to the effect of COVID-19 UI benefits on the state’s UI trust fund balance.  It is estimated that the highest rate schedule, Schedule E+, would have been in effect for the 2021-2022 rate year, with rates ranging from 1.30% to 7.70%.

  • For the one-year period from July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022 the assignment of SUI tax rates will move from the current Rate Schedule B, with rates ranging from 0.40% to 5.40%, to Rate Schedule C, with rates ranging from 0.50% to 5.80%.
  • For the one-year period from July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023 the assignment of SUI tax rates will move from Rate Schedule C to Rate Schedule D, with rates ranging from 0.60% to 6.40%.
  • For the one-year period from July 1, 2023 to June 30, 2024 the assignment of SUI tax rates will move from Rate Schedule D to Rate Schedule E, with rates ranging from 1.20% to 7.00%.

The law provides that if calculation of the actual fund reserve ratio would result in the selection of a rate schedule with lower contribution rates for any of these periods, the lower rate schedule will apply.

The New Jersey Office of Legislative Services estimates that by setting lower rate schedules than dictated by the fund’s actual reserve ratio, the law will reduce revenues to the state’s UI trust fund by at least $660 million in the first year, $450 million in the second year, and $230 million in the third year relative to the contribution amounts payable under the tax schedule that would otherwise have taken effect.

No action is required by employers at this time.  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.

Vermont Unemployment Tax Rate Calculations to Exclude COVID-19 Related Benefit Charges

The Vermont Department of Labor announced that unemployment tax rate calculations for the one-year period July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022 are to exclude unemployment benefits related to the COVID-19 pandemic in a measure signed June 1, 2021 by Governor Phil Scott.

Under the measure (SB 62), unemployment benefits paid during calendar year 2020 will not be charged to employers’ accounts for the purposes of computing the 2021-2022 state unemployment tax rate if the reason for separation was “virus-related”.

Employers may also be relieved of charges for benefits claimed in 2021 when the claims are related to a business closures required by a public health mandate, the employer temporarily laid off quarantined employees, or the employer voluntarily stopped operations because of workplace exposure to COVID-19.  The Commissioner of the Department is preparing procedures and an application for employers to use to apply for relief by July 1, 2021.

Additionally, the Department will not take into account unemployment benefits paid in 2020 when determining the tax rate schedule to take effect July 1, 2021 or future fiscal years.

The provisions are to prevent unemployment tax rates from increasing more than would be necessary to replenish the state unemployment trust fund.

No action is required by Vermont employers at this time.  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.

United States Department of Labor’s Unemployment Claims Report – Week Ending June 5, 2021

The Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims report for the week ending June 5, 2021 has been released by the United States Department of Labor.

Week Ending 6/5 Prior Week
Seasonally adjusted initial claims: 376,000 385,000
4 week moving average: 402,500 428,000
Seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate: 2.50% 2.70%
Seasonally adjusted insured unemployment number: 3,499,000 3,771,000
4-week moving average: 3,651,250 3,687,750
Number of unadjusted claims: 367,117 425,450
Unadjusted insured unemployment rate: 2.40% 2.50%
Unadjusted number claiming UI benefits: 3,315,550 3,504,163

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 for the latest news and updates.