House Passes Unemployment Insurance Rate Freeze Legislation

House Passes Unemployment Insurance Rate Freeze Legislation

Protects employers from large per-employee assessment increase

(BOSTON) – State Representative Jeffrey Sánchez joined his colleagues in the Massachusetts House of Representatives in unanimously passing legislation to halt a scheduled increase in the unemployment insurance assessment that all employers pay.

“As we struggle to survive in these challenging times, it’s important to ease the burden on businesses, which fund our unemployment system,” House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo said. “This rate freeze signals the House’s commitment to stimulating business and creating jobs in the Commonwealth.”

“This legislation is a step in the right direction to reducing financial burden on our businesses in the Commonwealth” State Representative Jeffrey Sánchez said. “It is one piece of the puzzle to emerging from this recession and stimulating job growth.”

The Commonwealth’s unemployment insurance system is funded completely from employer contributions. The law governing unemployment insurance requires that, as the fund is depleted, employer contributions increase.

Without this rate freeze, employers would face, on average, a per-employee increase in cost for unemployment insurance of 35% - raising the employer contribution to $872 per employee. Collectively, this would amount to an employer contribution increase of roughly $551 million.

Though the rate freeze will still result in a 10% increase in payments by employers due to other unemployment insurance payment adjustment factors, the freeze will save the average employer $167 per employee.

“In these difficult fiscal times, we must do all that we can to support job growth across our state,” said Representative Brian Dempsey, Chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means. “This legislation is vital towards facilitating business growth and hiring in Massachusetts.”

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