The Commonwealth is best served by a public system of unemployment compensation that helps alleviate the potential economic hardships of the involuntarily unemployed while these individuals work towards transitioning back into the workforce. The system should provide economic security while incentivizing claimants to re-enter the workforce as quickly as possible.
Taxes paid by Pennsylvania employers to fund the unemployment compensation system are higher than those paid in the vast majority of other states in the country, including all of Pennsylvania’s neighboring states, according to most recent data from the U.S. Department of Labor. Excessive UC costs and an unsustainable system can be a deterrent to job creation and brings instability to a program that serves as an important safety net. The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry opposes any broad-based UC tax increase proposal and supports changes in the law that promote fairness, help control costs and ensure the UC trust fund is solvent.
Specifically, the PA Chamber supports:
- A system limited to temporary unemployment benefits only for those who were clearly attached to the workforce, lost their job through no fault of their own and are actively seeking new employment;
- A tax rating system that fairly determines employer tax rates by considering an employer’s past experience;
- Strict enforcement of worksearch requirements;
- Benefits that are based on prior wages earned in covered employment;
- A UC Trust Fund that is reactive to economic and fund balance levels in order to achieve and maintain solvency and avoid, to the extent possible, the need to borrow from the federal government to pay the state share of benefits; and
- Legislative and administrative efforts to combat fraud and abuse of the UC system and hold perpetrators accountable.