This month, the House and Senate each passed legislation freezing unemployment insurance (UI) rates this year. This Chamber-supported UI rate relief measure will deliver more than $500M in savings to Massachusetts employers – helping to support the region’s still-fragile economic recovery, mitigate an obstacle to new hiring, and improve the overall business climate. The UI rate freeze, which was passed by the Legislature as part of an FY’13 supplemental budget bill, is now before Governor Patrick and the Chamber anticipates the measure being signed into law in the coming days.
Massachusetts UI costs have long been among the very highest in the nation. Legislation was needed to avert a 28% premium spike or over $200 per employee rate increase in 2013, resulting from a UI rate increase from Schedule E to G that would have been triggered under law. Such a move which would have substantially furthered the state’s cost disadvantage.
Freezing UI rates at schedule E will provide immediate cost relief to Massachusetts employers at a time when such funds could be put to better use for hiring, construction, R&D, sales, and other business activities that will help contribute to the state’s economic recovery. The Chamber will continue working to secure enactment of this important proposal in the coming days.