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Unemployment Insurance

Posted on:2/21/2012
Unemployment insurance is primarily a state-administered program. The Social Security Act provides incentives to the individual states to establish state programs which meet certain standards and conditions.


Unemployment insurance is primarily a state-administered program. The Social Security Act provides incentives to the individual states to establish state programs which meet certain standards and conditions. The Federal law provides a tax on employers in industry and commerce who employ four or more persons for at least twenty weeks of the year. However, if a state establishes a program which is approved under the Federal law (Federal Unemployment Tax Act), employers in that state receive an offset of 2.7 per cent of the 3.1 per cent Federal tax. This Federal tax removed the original obstacles to state action.

 

Prior to the Social Security Act, employers opposed state action on the ground that it would put them at a disadvantage in relation to employers in other states because such employers in other states would not have to pay the increased taxes. All of the states (as well as Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia) have unemployment insurance programs approved under the Social Security Act and the Federal Unemployment Tax Act. Employers who are subject to these laws pay their state tax, and receive credit against their Federal tax.

 

Workers covered by the system generally include all employees in private industry and commerce such as workers in factories, stores, mines, and offices, and Federal Government employees. In contradistinction to old-age, survivors, and disability insurance, which covers almost all workers, unemployment insurance varies in coverage from state to state. Generally excluded are agricultural and domestic workers, certain casual labor, employees in some governmental and nonprofit agencies, and employees in firms of less than four workers.


  
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