So far in 2014, employers have a lot to be excited for. A number of states are paying back the debt for their unemployment insurance trust funds, which could lead to lower tax rates, and the overall employment situation keeps getting stronger.

For example, unemployment claims have been steadily declining over the past few months. A recent report from the U.S. Department of Labor showed that that has changed, but overall conditions are still good. The DOL noted that the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims increased by 4,000 on a weekly basis at the end of August. For the week ending Aug. 30, claims hit 302,000.

The four-week moving average also ticked up, the DOL explained. From the previous seven-day period, claims totaled 302,750, a 3,000 claim week-over-week surge. The highest insured unemployment rates were found in New Jersey at 3.3 percent, Alaska at 3.1 percent and Connecticut at 3.1 percent. The states with the largest weekly increases in unemployment claims were New York, Michigan and California – at 2,560, 1,845 and 867, respectively.

Employment productivity climbs across country
While unemployment insurance claims were slightly higher toward the end of August, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics countered with some good news: Productivity ticked up as well.

The BLS reported that nonfarm business sector labor productivity climbed at an annual rate of 2.3 percent between April and June of this year. Output increased by 5 percent between those three months. When comparing the second quarter of 2013 to the same time in 2014, output rose by 3.2 percent and overall productivity grew by 1.1 percent.

The strongest sectors in the U.S. in terms of productivity included manufacturing, which saw a 3.3 percent gain during the second quarter of this year. The durable goods sector experienced improvements, with a 3.4 percent surge in productivity. The nondurable goods sector also performed well, with a 4.7 percent increase.

Overall, the small rise in unemployment claims shouldn’t have too great of an effect on employers across the country. Other economic and employment factors, such as the positive productivity figures, can help offset these gains and ensure that 2014 is a good year for businesses in multiple industries.

Juggling tax rates and difficult employees can become challenging at your company. Here at Corporate Cost Control, we understand these problems and are well-positioned to help. Our extensive background in cost control and human resources will allow you to better manage your unemployment insurance expenses.


Contact CCC to see how we can save your organization time and money.
Contact our Sales Team
(800) 207-6926

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