Strategic Services on Unemployment & Workers’ Compensation, or UWC, now has an Unemployment Fiscal data Research Report for 2008 to 2017 available. This report provides state and national tax benefit amounts, and contains insightful data into how different states compare in terms of unemployment tax rates and benefit costs.

Some of the data covered includes the highest and lowest average benefits costs per covered employee in 2017. 


Pennsylvania ($618)
Oregon ($617)
Connecticut ($608)
Rhode Island ($596)
Alaska ($579)


Florida ($90)
Mississippi ($90)
Nebraska ($92)
Tennessee ($101)
South Dakota ($105)
New Hampshire ($132)

There is also a considerable difference between states when comparing the average UI tax as a percent of total wages.

States with the highest average tax as a percent of total wages in 2017 included:

Vermont (1.5%)
Oregon (1.4%)
Rhode Island (1.3%)
Alaska (1.2%)
Nevada (1.1%)

States with the lowest average UI tax as a percent of total wages included:

Florida (0.2%)
Nebraska (0.2%)
New Hampshire (0.2%)
Tennessee (0.2%)
Louisiana (0.3%)
Mississippi (0.3%)
South Dakota (0.3%)
Virginia (0.3%)


Note: These average UI taxes do not include any FUTA penalties, debt service or assessments that may have been imposed to pay bond obligations or other financing outside the federal/state UI accounts.

These trends are important for national employers to be aware of because of how much the average benefits cost and unemployment tax can differ state by state. Employers Edge can assist you with budgetary rate projections so you can predict your tax liability and get a head start with budgetary planning.