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Oregon unemployment tax rates to decline in 2018

Healthy economy, strong job growth cited

SALEM, Ore. - Unemployment tax rates for most Oregon employers will be lower in 2018, the state Employment Department announced Monday. Tax rates will drop to schedule three for employers that pay into the unemployment insurance system. 

Tax schedule three includes an average rate of 1.97% for the first $39,300 paid to each employee. In 2017 Oregon operated on schedule four which had an average rate of 2.26%. The specific rate each employer will pay under the new schedule depends on how much they have used the unemployment insurance system. 

Oregon annually adjusts employer tax rates using eight tax schedules based on the solvency of the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund. Movement between the eight schedules of tax rates represents part of the self-balancing aspects of Oregon's Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund law.

Each September, a formula contained in state law determines how much should be collected during the next year to maintain a solvent fund. Each schedule has a range of tax rates, based on an employer's previous Unemployment Insurance experience. 

The last time Oregon was on tax schedule three was in 2009. A healthy economy and strong job growth helped to contribute to the reduction. 

As a result of this approach, Oregon has one of the strongest trust funds in the nation. The trust fund provides support for temporarily unemployed workers, their families, and communities while minimizing the impact on employers. This approach allows this support without having to reduce benefits to workers, increase employer taxes, or borrow from the federal government as most other states had to do for the Great Recession. 

The Oregon Employment Department mailed notifications to businesses last week regarding their individual tax rates and encourages employers to wait until they receive their individual notice before attempting to contact the department with questions. Any employer who has not received their notice within the next couple of weeks should contact the Oregon Employment Department Unemployment Insurance Tax Section. Contact information may be found online at www.Employment.Oregon.gov.


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