The Great Recession took its toll on unemployment insurance systems across the country. Since that time, a number of states have worked tirelessly to return their trust funds to solvency, reducing costs for local employers.

However, Kansas hasn’t yet reached that level. According to local media outlet The Wichita Eagle, unemployment insurance expenses are on the rise. In 2015, many employers can expect to pay more as lawmakers alter legislation to help bolster the state’s trust fund.

Justin McFarland, director of the Kansas Department of Labor’s labor market information services, explained that the state’s unemployment system was in the red by as much as $96 million in 2011, according to the media outlet. To change that, lawmakers are increasing wages connected to the unemployment insurance tax and changing other elements. The overall end result is more money from employers.

In 2015, the taxable wage base will go up to a new total of $12,000, compared to $8,000 in 2014. In 2016, that figure will increase further to $16,000.

“It shifts the burden, the pain, to those employers who have a history of using the system more,” McFarland said, according to The Wichita Eagle. These employers are considered “negative balance,” where they take more from the fund than they contribute. McFarland added that “negative balance employers will end up paying a larger share.”

Kansas experiences unemployment gains
While Kansas is making tweaks to improve its trust fund, other gains have also been made in relation to its unemployment rate.

“Kansas’ jobless rate sits at 4.4 percent in October.”

According to the Kansas Department of Labor, the jobless rate in the state dropped from 4.7 percent to 4.4 percent in October. At the same time in 2013, that rate was 5.2 percent. In addition, Kansas has gained nearly 14,000 private sector jobs over the past 12 months. There was also a 0.7 percent increase in private sector jobs on a month-over-month level.

“The private sector continues to lead Kansas’ comeback from the Great Recession,” McFarland said in the statement. “This month, employers boosted job levels to a new record high. Kansans also saw their earnings increase by 3.3 percent over the year. The increased income will continue to drive growth.”

At Corporate Cost Control, we work closely with employers across the country to better manage the nuances of unemployment insurance. Legislation changes on the state level could impact you today, and we welcome any questions or concerns you may have on a wide range of topics.


Contact CCC to see how we can save your organization time and money.
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