New Oregon employers will see slightly higher unemployment insurance rates
New employers in Oregon will pay a higher rate for unemployment insurance in 2024, according to the state employment department.
Employers pay into the state’s unemployment trust via a payroll tax. The rate is variable for established businesses, and the state determines the new employer rate each November based on the previous year’s demand for the fund. The trust is used to pay weekly benefits to Oregonians who lose their jobs through no fault of their own.
“The unemployment insurance payroll tax for new employers will rise slightly in 2024 from the current rate of 2.1% on taxable wages up to $50,900 per employee,” said David Gerstenfeld, director of the Oregon Employment Department, “to a rate of 2.4% in 2024 on up to $52,800 in wages.”
The weekly benefits for a person collecting unemployment are determined by their previous wages. Across the state — and across industries — wages went up in the last two years, pushing up the amount claimed for weekly benefits.
“The higher wages in 2022 caused higher average weekly payouts in 2023 for unemployment insurance,” Gerstenfeld said, which was the primary driver for increasing the payroll tax rate.
Overall, Oregon’s unemployment rate remains low at 3.6% in October, up from 3.5% in September. In the last couple of years, Oregon has either had more job openings than unemployed people, or those numbers have been about the same recently, said State Employment Economist Gail Krumenauer
“We’re at that one-to-one ratio in Oregon right now,” she said. “That means it’s still a tight labor market, where it’s hard for employers to find enough workers to fill all the vacancies out there.”
Copyright 2023 Oregon Public Broadcasting.