Aug. 05--The total amount Connecticut employers are paying in unemployment taxes dropped slightly Friday. But the cost per worker is far, far higher than it was before the recession.
The typical employer is now paying $453.50 in unemployment insurance for every worker who earns at least $15,000 during the year.
It dropped Aug. 1 because the assessment that pays for interest on $433 million in federal loans to Connecticut fell from $15 to $7.50. But in January, the tax to pay down the principal on those loans jumped by $21.
Before the recession, the typical employer was paying $327 a year for unemployment benefits. But when the number of jobless people soared -- and the length of time they were unemployed did too -- the amount of money the state collected was not enough to pay the first 26 weeks of benefits. The federal government lent Connecticut$810 million to cover those costs during the years that state unemployment tax collections were lower than the money going out for the first 26 weeks of benefits.
The state started paying back those loans in 2011, which is how the principal has dropped to $433 million. Now, there is more money coming in from state unemployment insurance than goes out, so the state is able to send that money to Washington, along with the higher federal unemployment taxes employers are paying.
The state Department of Labor projects that the higher taxes to pay down these loans will terminate at the end of 2016, or possibly, early 2017.
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