State officials expect to reduce employers’ unemployment insurance contributions

State officials told the Labor and Industry Interim Joint Committee that the Kentucky Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund is growing and costs to employers are expected to come down.

Officials from the Kentucky Education and Workforce Cabinet reported that the fund had a positive balance at the start of 2016 and that balance had grown to a current level of $220 million.  The fund is expected to hold $240 million in reserves by the end of 2016.

The fund balance was a negative $948 million in January 2012 and steps were taken by former Governor Steve Beshear and the legislature to chart a path out of debt.  Overtime, the changes made to shore up the fund have paid off.

On Sept. 30 as directed by statute, the Cabinet will review the fund level and set the employer contribution rates to take effect the following July.  The Cabinet expects levels to continue to increase such that contribution rates will be reduced.

Additionally, the fund balance will allow weekly benefits to increase from $415 to $450 and a freeze of the taxable wage base for four years.

Last summer, Kentucky Chamber President and CEO Dave Adkisson joined others in celebrating a positive balance in the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund.  As the fund grows Kentucky businesses will see savings.

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