SALEM — Unemployment tax rates for employers subject to Oregon payroll tax will move to tax schedule two for the 2020 calendar year.

Tax schedule two includes an average rate of 1.73% for the first $42,100 paid to each employee. The specific rate each employer will pay under the new schedule depends on how much they have used the unemployment insurance system. 

Oregon adjusts employer tax rates annually using eight tax schedules based on the solvency of the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund. Movement between the eight schedules of tax rates represents part of the self-balancing aspects of Oregon’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund law. Each September, a formula contained in statute determines how much should be collected during the next year to maintain a solvent fund. Each schedule has a range of tax rates based on an employer’s previous unemployment insurance experience. Employers with more unemployment insurance claims have a higher tax rate than those with fewer claims. 

As a result of this approach, Oregon has one of the strongest trust funds in the nation. The trust fund provides support for temporarily unemployed workers, their families, and communities while minimizing the impact on employers. This approach allows support without having to reduce benefits to workers, increase employer taxes, or borrow from the federal government, as most other states had to do for the Great Recession.

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