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News

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

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

Week Ending 7/24 Prior Week
Seasonally adjusted initial claims: 400,000 419,000
4 week moving average: 394,500 385,250
Seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate: 2.40% 2.40%
Seasonally adjusted insured unemployment number: 3,269,000 3,236,000
4-week moving average: 3,290,750 3,338,000
Number of unadjusted claims: 344,653 406,053
Unadjusted insured unemployment rate: 2.40% 2.40%
Unadjusted number claiming UI benefits: 3,247,071 3,249,777

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.

 

Massachusetts Revises 2021 Unemployment Tax Rates

The Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance (“DUA”) has released revised 2021 unemployment tax rates for all employers.  In a letter to employers, the DUA announced that these revisions would be available on their website as of today and will reflect a decrease in the solvency assessment, which was a major factor in the original tax rate increases felt by employers in 2021.

Unemployment tax rates have been adjusted due to a decrease in the solvency assessment from 9.23% to 1.12% for 2021.  However, employers will now be assessed a new Covid-19 Recovery Assessment rate, which equals 10.50% of an employer’s unemployment tax rate and ranges from 0.099% to 1.509%.

The adjusted tax rates and recovery assessment rates are retroactive to January 1, 2021.

Unemployment tax payments for the first and second quarters of 2021 have been extended and are due by 3 p.m. Eastern time August 31, 2021.

The letter to employers included tax rate calculation examples and a set of frequently asked questions about adjusted tax rates and the recovery assessment.

This is exciting news for most Massachusetts employers, despite the late notice of these tax rate revisions and the addition of the COVID-19 Recovery Assessment Rate.  Nevertheless, for those employers who receive a lower tax rate for 2021 because of these revisions, they will see an overall tax decrease for calendar year 2021 as opposed to what was budgeted under the originally assigned rate.

Because the DUA is not mailing these revised notices to employers of their third-party agents, we are in the process of retrieving these from the DUA website and verifying the calculations.  We will send them out to our clients once that process is complete.

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 July 17, 2021

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

Week Ending 7/17 Prior Week
Seasonally adjusted initial claims: 419,000 360,000
4 week moving average: 385,250 382,500
Seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate: 2.40% 2.40%
Seasonally adjusted insured unemployment number: 3,236,000 3,241,000
4-week moving average: 3,338,000 3,376,750
Number of unadjusted claims: 406,053 383,166
Unadjusted insured unemployment rate: 2.40% 2.30%
Unadjusted number claiming UI benefits: 3,249,777 3,119,473

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.

 

Oklahoma to Resume Charging Employers for Unemployment Benefits

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Oklahoma waived benefit charges for experience rated employers. This waiver expired June 30, 2021.  What does this mean for OK employers? Any eligible claim for unemployment benefits with an effective date after July 3, 2021 will result in a benefit wage charge at the 5th compensable week of unemployment.

The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission recently notified all Oklahoma employers that they were returning to pre-pandemic unemployment benefits and eligibility.  In addition to the eligibility requirements, Oklahoma experience rated employers will also start being charged for benefits for any claim filed after July 3, 2021. You do not need to take any actions. Thomas & Company will continue to monitor your claims and charge activity and take any actions necessary to protest any charges that are associated to your account prior to the waiver expiration.

The notice from OESC reads:

“On May 17, 2021, OESC announced the start of a Back to Work Initiative to address the labor shortage in Oklahoma as a result of the pandemic. Also included in this announcement was a return to pre-pandemic unemployment insurance benefits and eligibility, which was effective June 27, 2021. OESC wants to ensure that state employers are also aware that this change will impact the waiver of benefit wage charges for experience-rated employers with the expiration of the waiver on June 30, 2021, and the renewal of these charges.

End Date for Benefit Wage Charge Waiver

Any eligible claim for unemployment benefits with an effective date after July 3, 2021, (the last day in the week that includes the June 30 expiration date) will result in a benefit wage charge at the 5th compensable week of unemployment.

What are benefit wage charges?

If a claimant is allowed benefits based on the reason for separation from the most recent employment at the time an initial claim was filed, and a valid benefit year is established, a notice is mailed to each base period employer showing the amount of base period wages being charged. This form is titled “Notice of Benefit Wages” and is issued when benefits are paid to a claimant for the fifth week of unemployment in the benefit year. Benefit wage charges are the taxable base period wages reported by the employer to OESC that are used to determine a claimant’s eligibility to receive benefits. Benefit wage charges to an employer account are used in computing the employer’s annual contribution rate.

Which employers receive benefit wage charges?

The separating employer is the most recent employer for a claimant and is the source of the separation that triggers the claimant’s eligibility for unemployment benefits. The separating employer may receive benefit wage charges. Any other employers with taxable wages within the base period also receive benefit wage charges for wages within the base period.

Can benefit wage charges be protested?

Yes, employer protests can be submitted in response to each Notice of Benefit Wages letter an employer receives. The protest must be in writing and must give the basis of the protest and the circumstances of the claimant’s last separation from employment. Acceptable reasons for protest are included in the FAQ’s referenced below.

Find more information and FAQ’s on the Employers tab at the Oklahoma 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 for the latest news and updates.

 

Connecticut Adjusts Unemployment Taxable Wage Base Calculation

Legislation signed by Governor Ned Lamont on July 12, 2021 states that Connecticut’s unemployment taxable wage base is set to increase in 2024 and will be adjusted annually starting in 2025.

Under the measure (H.B. 6633), effective January 1, 2024, the taxable wage base is to increase to $25,000.  This is an increase from $15,000, the taxable wage base in Connecticut since 1999.  Effective starting with the wage base determined for 2025, the wage base is to be indexed to average wages for inflation purposes.

The measure also temporarily changes the look back period used to calculate employers’ unemployment experience ratings.

The experience period generally consists of payroll and unemployment benefit charge data from the three consecutive years ending June 30 preceding the computation date.  However, the experience rating period is to be one year for unemployment tax rate calculations for 2026, and two years for 2027.

Additionally, effective January 1, 2024, employers are not to be charged for unemployment benefits claimed through the state’s shared work program during periods of high unemployment.

The measure also caps the fund-solvency tax at 1.00% starting in 2024, down from 1.40%.  The maximum fund-solvency surtax would be 0.50% in a period of economic recession.

Although there are several components of this measure that would appear to be favorable to employers and ultimately lower their tax rates in future years, the increase in taxable wage base will prove to either neutralize those benefits or exceed them altogether; thus resulting in higher overall unemployment tax payments.

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.

Indiana To Waive Unemployment Benefit Charges for 2022 Tax Rates

The Indiana Department of Workforce Development has confirmed that it will not include unemployment benefits charged from March 13, 2020 to June 30, 2021 when calculating employer’s unemployment tax rates for 2022.

However, this does not necessarily equate into lower tax rates in 2022 and beyond.  The frequently asked questions posted to the IN DWD website indicate that unemployment benefits charges waived from individual employer accounts in 2020 may be recovered through a mutualized unemployment tax for 2022.  Similarly, charges waived in 2021 may be recovered through a mutualized unemployment tax for 2023.

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 July 10, 2021

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

Week Ending 7/10 Prior Week
Seasonally adjusted initial claims: 360,000 373,000
4 week moving average: 382,500 394,500
Seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate: 2.40% 2.40%
Seasonally adjusted insured unemployment number: 3,241,000 3,339,000
4-week moving average: 3,376,750 3,440,750
Number of unadjusted claims: 383,166 369,661
Unadjusted insured unemployment rate: 2.30% 2.30%
Unadjusted number claiming UI benefits: 3,119,473 3,236,197

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.

New Hampshire Unemployment Tax Rates To Hold Steady for Third Quarter 2021

The New Hampshire Employment Security Department announced that unemployment tax rates will remain steady for the third quarter of 2021.

For the one-year period from July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2021, tax rates for positive-rated employers range from 0.10% to 2.70% and rates for negative-rated employers range from 4.30% to 8.50%.  The tax rate for new employers is 2.70%.

A solvency-threshold tax rate reduction, which generally may be applied to the tax rates of positive-rated employers and new employers, is not in effect for the third quarter of 2021.  A surcharge of 1.50% is included in tax rates for negative-rated employers.

New Hampshire’s unemployment taxable wage base is $14,000 in 2021.

The Department has included all of this information on its 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 for the latest news and updates.

Wisconsin Unemployment Tax Rates To Hold Steady for 2022 & 2023

The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development announced that unemployment tax rates for 2022 & 2023 will be determined with the same schedule used in 2021 under a measure signed July 8, 2021 by Governor Tony Evers.

Under H.B. 406, unemployment tax rates will be determined with Schedule D for calendar years 2022 & 2023; the same schedule used to compute 2021 tax rates.

For experience-rated employers with taxable payrolls of less than $500,000, tax rates determined with Schedule D range from 0.00% to 12.00%.  For experience-rated employers with taxable payrolls of more than $500,000, rates range from 0.05% to 12.00%.  These rates include solvency surcharges.

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 July 3, 2021

The Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims report for the week ending July 3, 2021 has been released by the United States Department of Labor.

Week Ending 7/3 Prior Week
Seasonally adjusted initial claims: 373,000 364,000
4 week moving average: 394,500 392,750
Seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate: 2.40% 2.50%
Seasonally adjusted insured unemployment number: 3,339,000 3,469,000
4-week moving average: 3,440,750 3,481,750
Number of unadjusted claims: 369,661 359,130
Unadjusted insured unemployment rate: 2.30% 2.30%
Unadjusted number claiming UI benefits: 3,236,197 3,270,789

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.