New unemployment tax rates released; 81 percent of employers will have the same tax rate or lower

  • Thursday, December 7, 2017 2:39pm
  • Business

For the Reporter

The Employment Security Department has issued 2018 tax rate notices to employers and updated its website with new information.

Tax rates in all 40 rate classes remained the same as in 2017, ranging from 0.10 to 5.7 percent (not counting delinquency taxes). About 81 percent of employers will move into a lower rate class or stay the same in 2018.

Highlights

• 25 percent of Washington employers will have a lower tax rate in 2018, 56 percent will remain the same, and 19 percent will move to a higher rate class.

• The average tax rate will decrease from an estimated 1.21 percent in 2017 to an estimated 1.10 percent in 2018. The average total tax paid per employee will decline by $15 to $215 per year.

• About 41 percent of all taxable employers are in rate class 1, taxed at 0.10 percent. Ninety percent of employers in rate class 1 have five or fewer employees.

• The experience rated portion of the 2018 unemployment tax (paid by rate classes 2 and higher) will be based on benefit payouts from July 2013 through June 2017.

• Unemployment tax collections are estimated to decrease from $1.06 billion in 2017 to about $952 million in 2018.

Employers will pay unemployment taxes on the first $47,300 of each employee’s earnings in 2018. For an employee earning $47,300 or more, the total tax for the year will range from $61 (employers in rate class 1) to $2,706 (rate class 40).

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