Department of Workforce Development
Secretary's Office

201 E. Washington Avenue
P.O. Box 7946
Madison, WI 53707-7946
Telephone: (608) 266-3131
Fax: (608) 266-1784

DWD logo

Scott Walker, Governor
Reginald J. Newson, Secretary

Wednesday, September 17, 2014
CONTACT: DWD Communications, 608-266-2722
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On Twitter: @WIWorkforce

UI Reforms, Economic Gains Help Wisconsin Employers' Bottom Line

After inheriting $1.4 billion UI Trust Fund deficit, Walker Administration, Legislators restore health to fund

MADISON – After inheriting an Unemployment Insurance (UI) Trust Fund (Trust Fund) deficit of $1.4 billion in January 2011, Governor Scott Walker and legislative partners enacted historic reforms that moved the Trust Fund to its first positive balance this year since 2009. The fund's positive balance will result in lower federal UI taxes for thousands of Wisconsin employers.

DWD forecasts the Trust Fund balance, which most recently entered positive territory in late July 2014, will be positive on the key date of November 9, 2014, when the Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) rate for Wisconsin employers will be determined as required by the federal government. The rate is expected to revert from 1.5% to the normal rate of 0.6% on the first $7,000 of an employee's wages, representing a 60% reduction. A typical small business with 40 employees who earn $7,000 or more will save more than $2,500 in taxes for 2014.

"A financially stable and growing UI trust fund helps to support the pro-business climate that Wisconsin's job creators need to expand and create more opportunities for working families," said Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Reggie Newson, whose agency administers the state's UI system. "The UI reforms that Governor Walker and the Legislature passed through the 2013-15 biennial budget and 2013 Wisconsin Act 36 are producing results, and there is more work to be done."

Highlights of the changes include:

Examples of key UI reforms include: