PowerPoint on UI financing

Here is a PowerPoint presentation from the February 6th meeting of the Advisory Council.

It has been difficult getting a copy of this presentation. The presentation explains that the current UI debt exists — in large part because the tax rate on employers has not kept pace with growth in the wages being paid to employees. This financing gap goes back to the early 1990s, but interest earned on the UI reserve fund covered up the problem during the 1990s. When interest rates declined in the 2000s, the fund balance declined and the 2008 recession emptied it completely.

The recommended fix is not easy. It involves raising the base wages that are taxed for unemployment purposes (currently $14,000) to a higher amount based on maintaining a certain balance in the trust fund to cover possible emergencies. In other words, the amount of taxable wages would vary as the balance that had to be maintained changed.