Taxing Price of Unemployment

The state is shelling out more unemployment benefits and is turning to companies to build up those funds.

Connecticut officials are expected to increase employers' unemployment tax payments in 2009 because more money is being paid to jobless workers than businesses are putting in the state's unemployment fund.

The state Department of Labor anticipates that it will assess employers an extra 1.4 percent in unemployment taxes next year. Officials said they need to keep the unemployment fund solvent.

Connecticut's unemployment rate is the highest it's been in 15 years at 6.6 percent, while officials at unemployment offices are handling about 80,000 claims a week, a 50 percent increase over last year.

Labor officials are expecting the unemployment fund to pay out $690 million and collect $540 million in revenue this fiscal year.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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