Governor Deval Patrick signed a supplemental budget Friday that includes an unemployment insurance rate freeze eliminating a $500 million increase on employers that took effect January 1.
The measure freezing UI contributions at the current Schedule E will still leave the fund used to pay benefits to unemployed people with a balance of $600 million at the end of the year. It marks the fifth consecutive year in which the governor and Legislature have rolled back an automatic increase in employer UI taxes.
John Regan, Executive Vice President of Government Affairs for Associated Industries of Massachusetts, said a freeze removes a considerable burden for employers at a time when the national economy has begun to contract.
“AIM has been at the forefront of efforts to ease the burden of unemployment insurance taxes on the Massachusetts job market, so we are gratified by the Legislature’s quick passage of the bill and the governor’s decision to sign it,” Regan said.
The four previous UI rate freezes have saved Massachusetts employers $1.7 billion, according to state officials.
AIM will continue to press for comprehensive reforms to ensure the long-term financial stability of the unemployment insurance system.