New Jersey Has Lessons for PA?

Yes, New Jersey does have lessons for Pennsylvania. Governor Chris Christie proposed a plan to reduce some unemployment benefits. Employers were about to see an increase in their unemployment tax of about $400, or more than 50 percent per employee. 

The state of unemployment is certainly better in Pennsylvania than in New Jersey. Yet, in many ways we have it worse. New Jersey is concerned about being $1 billion in the hole by the end of March, but we already have a $2 billion shortfall in our Unemployment Insurance fund.

Pennsylvania ranks among the top 10 states in highest unemployment taxes per employee, near New Jersey and Illinois. Last year, employers paid approximately $380 per employee in unemployment compensation taxes. For 2010, the average tax per employee jumps to $432 per worker.

Here are some things we reccommend:

  • Requiring participation in job search programs,
  • Deducting other benefits, such as severance pay, Social Security, and vacation pay from unemployment benefit rates,
  • Adjusting eligibility for benefits, and 
  • Ensuring that the length of benefits does not exceed actual weeks worked.