October 31, 2013
Businesses will save $30 million in unemployment taxes
For Immediate Release: Oct. 31, 2013 CONTACT: Julie Rabinowitz, Department of Labor, 207-621-5009
AUGUSTA—The Maine Department of Labor has released the 2014 Unemployment Insurance Tax Rate Schedule. Rates will drop to the Schedule D level, the lowest rate since 2009.
“Maine’s economy is improving,” announced Governor Paul R. LePage. “As a result of the positive trends in both job growth and reductions in the numbers of people receiving unemployment benefits, the tax rate for employers will drop two schedules. Maine’s employers will save approximately $30 million in 2014 while keeping the unemployment trust fund stable and solvent.”
Maine’s job situation stabilized in 2011 and has sustained modest growth in 2012 and 2013. This has had the dual effect of reducing the number of people receiving unemployment while improving the overall health of the unemployment trust fund.
Employers pay unemployment taxes on up to the first $12,000 in wages paid to each employee. Each business’ rate is based upon the business’ unemployment insurance experience, taxable wages and past contributions in relation to those of other businesses. The 2014 minimum rate will be 0.73 percent per $1,000 paid an employee, the maximum rate is 6.80 percent and the average rate, which is also the new employer rate, per $1,000 paid per employee will be 2.58 percent.
To put this in real dollars, employers paying the minimum rate will see an annual decrease of $19.20 in taxes per employee paid at least $12,000 in wages, employers paying the average rate will see a decrease of $64.80 per employee, and employers paying the maximum rate will see a decrease of $169.20 per employee.
State unemployment taxes are paid into the Maine Unemployment Trust Fund and are used solely to pay benefits to people who lose their jobs through no fault of their own. Administration of the unemployment insurance system is not supported by employer-paid state unemployment taxes. The cost of the program’s administration is entirely funded through federal grants to the state.
The Department of Labor administers Maine’s unemployment insurance system. Employers should receive their individual 2014 rate notices in mid to late December. Employers with questions about their 2013 or 2014 unemployment contributions should visit the department’s webpage on unemployment taxes at http://www.maine.gov/labor/unemployment/tax.html or call (207) 621-5120.