Last week, the Division of Employment Security (DES) announced that North Carolina employers can expect to see combined unemployment insurance (UI) tax savings of more than $550 million in the current biennium. These savings were made possible because the trailblazing UI reforms passed by state leaders in 2013 resulted in the complete payoff of North Carolina’s UI debt to the federal government (which had ballooned to nearly $3 billion), and because an additional reform measure secured this year with the passage of Senate Bill 15 will suspend the 20 percent state reserve tax provided at least $1 billion remains available in the UI trust fund.
In the recent press release, DES Assistant Secretary Dale Folwell stated: “North Carolina employers have shouldered the financial responsibility in repaying this $2.8 billion debt and $283 million interest to the federal government since 2011. In the last year we have made tremendous progress and have reached a reserve balance of over $1 billion in the state unemployment trust fund. Building this fund to more than $1 billion saved employers millions of dollars more.”
As you know, the NC Chamber and our members were on the front lines in the battle to shore up our broken – and broke – UI system in 2013, and the positive impacts we have already seen provided strong evidence that our long-term plan, North Carolina Vision 2030, can work to kick our competitive business climate into overdrive and pave the way for future economic growth. But this recent announcement confirmed another vital component of the pro-growth argument we have made all along: each positive economic reform secured is another step in the right direction, and the money pumped back into our state economy frees up more resources to invest in the next round of reforms.
Thanks to elected leaders that share our vision of a strong future for our state, the collective voice of job creators across North Carolina has never been stronger. At the NC Chamber, we remain hard at work planning the next round of reforms. And in 2016, we look forward to working with other North Carolina leaders to help cook an even bigger economic pie for the businesses and people who call this state home!
Gary J. Salamido
Vice President, Government Affairs
North Carolina Chamber