South Carolina is cutting its unemployment insurance tax rate paid by businesses for the second consecutive year.
The new rate represents an average reduction of 17.1 percent over last year’s rate. Businesses will save more than $69 million as a result, according to the state Department of Employment and Workforce.
The reductions stem from an improving economy, the state dramatically lowering benefit payouts and policy changes that restricted benefits to workers who lost their jobs through no fault of their own, Gov. Nikki Haley said.
“When we save businesses money, we give them cash flow, and they can expand, putting more of our people to work – that’s why this announcement is so important,” Haley said in a news release.
South Carolina was one of 36 states that had to borrow money from the federal government in order to pay unemployment during the recession. In 2011, the state had a loan balance of $977 million.
DEW announced in June it had paid off the loan, returning the unemployment Trust Fund to solvency and saving businesses more than $12 million in interest payments.
“The economy is improving and more South Carolinians are working than any time in our state’s history,” said DEW Executive Director Cheryl Stanton in the release.
In September, South Carolina’s unemployment rate was 5.7 percent, the lowest since February 2008.
Employers must file wage and contribution reports by April 30, 2016. The new rates apply to the first $14,000 earned by each employee.