From the Employment Security Department website:
OLYMPIA – Gov. Chris Gregoire’s unemployment tax and workers’ compensation reform bills from last legislative session continue to help businesses through a down economy by causing next year’s unemployment tax rates to drop and keeping workers’ compensation rates flat into 2012.
Eighty-eight percent of Washington’s businesses will pay a lower unemployment tax rate in 2012 than they pay today. This decrease will save businesses an estimated $207 million in 2012 – in addition to $300 million in 2011 savings. Overall workers’ compensation insurance rates will not increase, which will save businesses an estimated $150 million in 2012.
When Gregoire signed her unemployment tax reform bill in February 2011, the Employment Security Division estimated that businesses would save more than $300 million in 2011. Today, it was clear that her reform’s effectiveness far surpassed initial expectations:
• Updated estimates indicate that businesses will save more than $500 million in the two-year period — $300 million in 2011 and $207 million in 2012.
• 88 percent of Washington’s employers will pay lower unemployment tax rates in 2012 than what they pay now.
• The overall average unemployment tax rate will drop by 13 percent.
• For the 77,338 employers that have had no layoffs in the past four years, the tax rate will plummet by 71 percent.