Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Chamber on unemployment insurance: 43% increase will hamstring job growth, reform needed now.

Massachusetts’ unemployment insurance costs are already among the very highest in the country. Under current state law, employers will face a 43 percent increase in UI premiums next year. Imposing such a dramatic increase is a mistake during a steep recession – widening our UI cost disparity versus other states, and undermining our collective goal to mount an economic and job recovery.

The Greater Boston Chamber testified today in support of legislation that would provide UI rate relief and systemic reform in early 2010. Special legislation that imposes a more moderate increase in UI premiums could provide $300 million in rate relief to employers next year as compared to current law – without jeopardizing the solvency of the UI trust fund. Coupling rate relief with systemic reforms to experience rating and workforce attachment provisions could improve the efficiency of the UI system, and place it on solid footing in the years ahead.

As companies struggle through the downturn, such special legislation would help support hiring and economic recovery and send an important signal to employers that Massachusetts is prepared to compete for their business.

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