Arkansas: Unemployment Wage Base Update

The current 2019 wage base in the state of Arkansas is $10,000. This number was determined by a provision in 2018 which set the wage base at a constant amount. However, a new bill (S.B. 298), signed this month by the governor could change the state’s unemployment wage base process for 2020.  Specifically, the state’s unemployment rate could determine Arkansas’s unemployment taxable wage base for a year. When the unemployment rate range is between 0 and 1 percent, the wage base will be $7,000. If the rate is between 1.01 and 1.49 percent, the wage base will go up to $9,000. When the  range is 2.2 percent or higher, the wage base will be $10,000.

If the state’s unemployment trust fund is not high enough to meet its required  minimum, the new law will not apply. In the case that the fund has less than $600 million, the wage base would be $11,000. Less that a $400 million balance would bring the wage base to $12,000.

Usually states determine wages bases either by their unemployment fund’s balance, the average weekly wage, or an amount set by law. No other state has yet to use the unemployment rate when deciding the unemployment taxable wage base.

View S.B. 298