Journalism in the Public Interest

Unemployment Insurance Program Changes by State in 2010

Due to record high unemployment claims and in many cases poor financial planning, 25 states have run out of funds and been forced to borrow from the federal government, raise taxes or cut benefits. Increasingly, those fiscal woes are landing at the doorstep of business owners and unemployed workers. Employers in 36 states face unemployment insurance tax increases ranging from a few dollars to nearly $1,000 per worker for 2010, and six states have taken steps to cut back or freeze benefits.

State 2010 Estimated Average Tax
(per worker)
(per worker)
from 2009
Alabama $267 $148 No change
Alaska $447 $71 No change
Arizona $146 $No tax increase No change
Arkansas $300 $41 Before, workers fired for misconduct lost eight weeks of unemployment eligibility. A new law bans them from receiving benefits altogether if they file before June 2011.
California $344 $No tax increase No change
Colorado $236* $73 No change
Connecticut $555 $No tax increase No change
Delaware $273* $No tax increase No change
District of Columbia n/a $No tax increase No change
Florida $312 $208 No change
Georgia $213* $69 No change
Hawaii $1,070 $980 No change
Idaho $816 $467 No change
Illinois $323 $22 No change
Indiana $385 $170 Workers will lose up to 43 percent of their benefit amount if they turn down jobs the state considers suitable. It will be harder for workers to claim jobs are unsuitable simply because they pay significantly less than the worker's former job.
Iowa $468* $89 No change
Kansas $350 $188 No change
Kentucky $336* $No tax increase No change
Louisiana $111 $14 No change
Maine $328 $140 No change
Maryland $422 $259 No change
Massachusetts n/a $No tax increase No change
Michigan $522* $21 No change
Minnesota $450 $55 No change
Mississippi n/a $No tax increase No change
Missouri $267 $No tax increase No change
Montana $482 $201 No change
Nebraska $300 $187 No change
Nevada $354 $No tax increase No change
New Hampshire $332 $138 Unemployed workers will face a one-week waiting period for benefits in 2010.
New Jersey $896* $327 No change
New Mexico n/a $No tax increase No change
New York $349 $29 No change
North Carolina $328 $No tax increase No change
North Dakota $333 $89 No change
Ohio $270 $4 No change
Oklahoma $206* $No tax increase No change
Oregon $646 $211 No change
Pennsylvania $432 $48 All unemployed workers in their first 26 weeks of benefits will have their amount reduced by 2.3 percent.
Rhode Island $675 $47 No change
South Carolina n/a No change
South Dakota $227 $149 No change
Tennessee $293 $96 No change
Texas $165 $76 No change
Utah $56 $No tax increase No change
Vermont $329 $90 Legislators voted to axe a scheduled increase in the maximum benefit to $438 from $425. The freeze will remain in effect until Vermont stops borrowing.
Virginia $171 $75 Out-of-work seniors who also collect Social Security will see their unemployment benefits cut by half the Social Security amount.
Washington $850 $No tax increase No change
West Virginia $348 $132 Benefits in the state have been frozen at the current range of $24 to $424 until the trust fund reaches $220 million, which won't be anytime soon.
Wisconsin $384 $72 No change
Wyoming $581 $237 No change