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Unemployment insurance rates decrease for many Montana employers

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HELENA – Gov. Steve Bullock and Commissioner of Labor Pam Bucy announced on Dec. 4 that the Unemployment Insurance Contribution Rate Schedule will be adjusted from schedule 5 to schedule 3 in 2015. This means the unemployment insurance contribution rates for most employers in 2015 will be approximately 20 percent lower than in 2014.

The current schedule 5 average tax rate is 1.92 percent and will drop to 1.52 percent in 2015. As a result, most Montana employers will see a decrease in unemployment insurance taxes due for the next year.

“Montanans are on the job and businesses are thriving,” Bullock said of the rate reduction. “We’re able to reduce the unemployment insurance rate for employers, keeping thousands of dollars in the pockets of Main Street Montana businesses.”

From 2010 through 2012, Montana employers’ contribution rates increased due to higher levels of unemployment claims. But since 2013 the rate schedule has been dropping due to the improved economy and rebuilding of the unemployment trust fund. This is the first year since the Great Recession that the schedule has dropped two levels.

“This rate decrease, along with increases in Montana wages and employment is strong evidence that Montana’s economy is rebounding well,” Bucy said.

Unemployment insurance benefits lighten the burden of being out of work, maintain purchasing power in the community, and allow laid-off employees to stay in Montana so they’ll be available for re-employment. The program stabilizes the local and state economy by preventing a sharp drop in consumer spending during periods of unemployment. These benefits are paid with Montana employers’ unemployment insurance contributions.

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