October 31, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 31, 2014
CONTACT: Julie Rabinowitz, Department of Labor, 207-621-5009; cell: 557-1483
Businesses will continue to save $30 million in 2015 as compared to 2013
AUGUSTA—The Maine Department of Labor has released the 2015 Unemployment Insurance Tax Rate Schedule. Rates will stay at Schedule D level, the same schedule as 2014 and two schedules lower than 2013.
“We continue to see signs of economic improvement in Maine,” announced Governor Paul R. LePage. “As a result of the positive trends in both job growth and significant reductions in the numbers of people receiving unemployment benefits, Maine’s employers saved approximately $30 million in 2014 while keeping the unemployment trust fund stable and solvent.”
Maine’s job situation stabilized in 2011 with growth steadily increasing from 2012 through 2014. This has had the dual effect of reducing the number of people receiving unemployment while improving the overall health of the unemployment trust fund.
Wage growth in Maine over the past two years is reflected in unemployment benefit payments. As a result, the tax schedule will remain at the same level to ensure that the trust fund can accommodate a potential high volume of claims at a higher wage level if there were to be a sustained economic downturn lasting 18 months.
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 2015 minimum rate will be 0.74 percent per $1,000 paid an employee, the maximum rate is 6.86 percent and the average rate, which is also the new employer rate, per $1,000 paid per employee will be 2.60 percent. To put this in real dollars, an employer with the lowest rate will pay an annual total of $88.80 in unemployment taxes on a worker who earns at least $12,000 in wages. The total annual tax per worker earning at least $12,000 at the highest unemployment tax rate will be $823.20, and $312 at the average rate.
State unemployment taxes are paid by employers 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. No funds are taken out of Maine workers’ checks to support this system.
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 2015 rate notices in mid to late December. Employers with questions about their 2014 or 2015 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.