South Carolina officials say most businesses will see lower unemployment insurance tax rates next year.
According to the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce (SCDEW), unemployment insurance rates for 2015, which employers pay the state to help maintain a trust fund for jobless benefits, will drop by approximately 9%. That rate has dropped steadily the past four years as SCDEW gradually repaid a $977 million loan provided by the federal government after South Carolina’s unemployment trust fund went bankrupt in 2009.
South Carolina revamped its employer tax rates in 2011 to help pay of the debt — charging higher rates for those larger employers which had laid off employees, but dropping the rates for a majority of businesses. The state also reduced the number of weeks a person can receive benefits to reduce their costs. Since then, SCDEW officials say the tax rates on employers have dropped by more than 20 percent.
“The economy continues to improve, South Carolinians continue to find work and tax rates continue to decline,” SCDEW Executive Director Cheryl Stanton said in a statement. “This is truly a testament to the efforts of our state’s business community and workforce development. Because of its hard work, the UI trust fund is on a path to solvency in 2015.”
South Carolina still owes $270 million outstanding on the balance of the federal loan. Stanton anticipated the agency would be able to pay off the balance next year.