The majority of those savings, $482 million since 2013, are the result of an improving economy and roughly a quarter come from changes made to unemployment tax schedules since 2016. Walker says the state went from having the highest tax to the lowest over the last three years, resulting in $155 million in savings, including an estimated $20 million in the 2018 tax year.
Funding for the unemployment trust fund comes from roughly 140,000 covered employers in the state, meaning the savings from tax schedule changes amounted to about $1,100 per employer over three years and the improving economy savings resulted in $3,440 per employer over five years.
Walker pointed out that the state’s unemployment trust had a $1.4 billion deficit in December 2010 and was one of 30 states to use federal loans to pay benefits during the Great Recession, but now has a $1.3 billion positive fund balance as of June 30.
“With a significantly improved business climate, economic growth and smart UI system reforms, employers are adding jobs and Wisconsin workers are finding good-paying opportunities to support themselves and their families,” Walker said.