Vibrant Economy Plus Healthy Fund Equals Lower Taxes for Employers

Employers who filed their first quarter wage report during April saw a reduction in their unemployment insurance tax rates, thanks to a strong economy and thriving unemployment compensation fund.

"Utah's strong job growth and low unemployment rate have fueled a healthy fund, which now translates into lower taxes for employers," said Michelle Beebe, director of the Utah Unemployment Insurance Division, which is part of the Department of Workforce Services.

"Our contribution rate formulas are designed to build the fund up when we have a strong economy to pay increased benefits when the economy slows, serving as an economic stabilizer to preserve our skilled workforce during slower times."

Businesses will pay roughly 13.2 percent less in unemployment insurance contributions in 2015, thanks to: 1) decreasing tax rates, and 2) an increase in Utah's taxable wage base from $30,800 to $31,300 over the past year.

  • Contribution rates range from 0.3 percent to 7.3 percent, with 69 percent of Utah employers qualifying for the minimum rate in 2015.
  • New employers will pay an industry average, ranging from 1.3 percent to 7.3 percent.

Employers with questions about unemployment insurance or how to post a job with the department can visit jobs.utah.gov or call 801-526-9235 (select option 3).

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Unemployment Insurance Facts

  • Employers contribute to the Utah Unemployment Compensation Fund to pay benefits to workers who become unemployed through no fault of their own.
  • The fund currently has more than $828 million a significant improvement from the balance of $250 million just a few years ago.
  • Workforce Services paid record amounts of benefits during the Great Recession, and it has taken several years of strong economic growth to replenish the fund.
  • Utah was one of only 15 states that did not borrow funds to keep paying benefits during the last four years.
  • Ten states still have outstanding loan balances totalling more than $12 billion.