Jobless insurance tax rates to go up

Most employers in the state are about to see an increase - 2011 will be the second consecutive year for increases – in unemployment insurance tax rates.

The upticks, said the state Employment Security Department in a recent release, are “due to an economic downturn that has set new records for unemployment benefits paid to jobless workers.”

The tax rates are calculated yearly using a formula established by state law.

“No one likes announcing that tax rates are going up, especially when the economy is still moving very slowly,” said ESD Commissioner Paul Trause.

The average rate for 2011 is the highest since 1988 – this after the lowest rates in 40 years in 2009.

Next year’s rates will range from 1.33 percent to 6 percent, compared with 0.95 percent and 6 percent this year.

2011 average rates and increases among selected industries:

Health care and social assistance: 2.46 percent, up 0.43 percent

Accommodation and food services: 2.51 percent, up 0.46 percent

Food manufacturing: 3.6 percent, up 0.84 percent

Real estate: 3.2 percent, up 1.04 percent

Construction: 5.41 percent, up 1.53 percent