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Unemployment Updates – October 18, 2023

ARKANSAS – Legislative Updates
Through their newsletter, the Arkansas Division of Workforce Services announced a number of important legislative updates, effective January 1, 2024, including:

Act 106 – Failure to Appear for Job Interviews
• Claimants will be disqualified for benefits should they fail, without good cause and without notice, to attend two scheduled job interviews with the same employer. Thirty (30) days of covered employment will be required to satisfy the disqualification.

Act 196 – Taxable Wage Base, Maximum UI Benefit Duration, New Employer Rate, Deficit Employer Rate Change
• Sets the taxable wage base at $7,000 when the UI Trust Fund is over $600,000 as of June 30 of each year. Also limits taxable wage base increases to a maximum of $2,000 per year.
• The maximum weekly benefit duration is reduced from 16 to 12 weeks.
• The new employer rate is reduced to 1.9% (plus administrative assessment), down from 2.9%.
• The previous stabilization tax will be recharacterized as an administrative assessment rate, set at 0.125% through June 30, 2024, and 0.1% thereafter.
• The 12% and 14% tax rates for deficit rated employers are eliminated.
The experienced employer rates will range from 0.225% to 10.125% for 2024.

FEDERAL LEVEL – Social Security Taxable Wage Base Increase
Wages subject to FICA and SECA taxes will increase in 2024 to $168,600, up from $160,200 in 2023.

IDAHO – Scam Warning
The Idaho Department of Labor has issued a warning to claimants, advising of an email scam circulating from firm Unemployment Assist, requesting personal information, and warning that failure to respond will result in the denial of benefits. As with all phishing scams, it is recommended not to click on any links and delete the email immediately. When in doubt, claimants can reach out directly to the state for an update on their claim.

MISSOURI – 2024 Taxable Wage Base Increase
In 2024, the taxable wage base in Missouri will decrease to $10,000, down from $10,500 in 2023.

WASHINGTON – ePay Removed as Payment Option
Effective November 1, 2023, paying unemployment taxes through ePay will no longer be available in Washington. Moving forward, it will be required that employers submit payments using a SecureAccess Washington account.
This change will not impact employers that do not currently utilize the ePay system. Employers can direct any questions, concerns, or issues to [email protected].

WISCONSIN – 2024 Contribution Rates
Wisconsin employers will continue to see contribution rates determined by Schedule D in 2024, with rates ranging from 0.00% to 12.0%, which includes the solvency rate.

All new employer rates will also remain the same in 2024, as detailed below:
Type                                                               Taxable Payroll           Rate
Newly Liable Construction Employers          <$500,000                 2.90%
Newly Liable Construction Employers          ≥$500,000                 3.10%
New Employer                                              <$500,000                 3.05%
New Employer                                              ≥$500,000                 3.25%

VERMONT – 2024 Taxable Wage Base Increase
In 2024, the taxable wage base in Vermont will increase to $14,300, up from $13,500 in 2023.

Michele Heckmann

Author Michele Heckmann

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