BOISE, Idaho — Idaho employers will see their unemployment insurance tax rates drop by 16.8 percent in 2015 thanks to job growth and a recovering economy, according to an Idaho Department of Labor press release.

Agricultural employers involved in the production of crops or livestock whose payrolls are less than $20,000 during a calendar quarter are not required to maintain coverage.

“There’s quite a few agricultural businesses that are covered,” said IDL spokesman Larry Ingram. “It’s the smaller farms that aren’t.”

Idaho has a total of 11,500 production agriculture employers with a total workforce of 40,000-60,000, Ingram said. Of that total, 2,100 employers, employing 24,000 workers, must pay unemployment insurance tax. Another 300 food processors with 16,000 employees in Idaho also pay the tax.

According to IDL, the state’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund was exhausted in 2009 and 2010 due to the recession, but 2015 will mark the third consecutive year in which insurance rates have dropped since they were at the maximum level in 2012.

Employers who have a positive rating for claims by employees compared with the amount they’ve paid into the system will see rates drop to less than half of their 2012 levels.

The rate charged to new employers will be 1.585 percent on the first $36,000 in wages paid to each worker covered by the unemployment insurance system, according to IDL. Other rates are based on an employers experience during the course of the preceding four years.

Rates will range from 0.453 percent to 1.51 percent for employers who have paid more taxes than benefit claims by workers and from 2.717 percent to 5.4 percent for employers who have paid below workers’ benefit claims.

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