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The following definitions briefly describe each item contained in the Handbook. These definitions are arranged in the order that the related columns appear in the tables in Section I, by calendar year, and in Section II, by State. To skip to the definitions of a specific table, click on one of the categories:



Taxable
Taxable and Reimbusable
Reimbursable
Federal-State Extended Benefits
Federal Extended Programs






Taxable

Average Monthly Covered Employment -- Column 2
Average monthly covered employment is the 12-month average of the covered employees reported to the States by each employer for 1938 through 1944 for the last payroll period in the month; for 1945 through 1962 for the payroll period ending nearest the 15th day of the month; and for 1963 and after for the payroll period including the 12th day of the month.

Total Wages Paid in Covered Employment -- Column 3
Total wages paid in covered employment are all the wages paid to all covered employees for all payroll periods ending in a year, including cash bonuses, the cash value of meals and lodgings when supplied, and tips and other gratuities. Deferred compensation, such as employer payments to retirement or stock bonus plans and employer payments for fringe benefits such as life and health insurance are not included.

Taxable Wages Paid in Covered Employment -- Column 4
Taxable wages paid in covered employment are the wages paid to covered employees that are subject to State unemployment insurance taxes. The taxable wages of any covered employee are the first specified amount of dollars, as provided in the State laws, paid by each employer to an employee during the calendar year.

Ratio of Taxable to Total Wages -- Column 5
This ratio is the taxable wages paid in covered employment (column 4) divided by the total wages paid for the same period (column 3).

Average Total Weekly Wage in Covered Employment -- Column 6
The average total weekly wage in covered employment is the total wages paid in covered employment (column 3) divided by the Quantity of 52 times the average monthly covered employment (column 2).

Average Taxable Weekly Wage in Covered Employment -- Column 7
The average taxable weekly wage in covered employment is the taxable wages paid in covered employment (column 4) divided by the quantity of 52 times the average monthly covered employment (column 2).

Contributions Collected -- Column 8
Contributions collected during the calendar year are the State unemployment taxes paid by employers and the contributions from employees in States that tax workers. Also included are penalties and interest for those States in which the State law requires that these items be used to pay benefits. The data have been adjusted for refunds of contributions and for dishonored contribution checks. The liability for contributions is incurred by employers for the calendar quarter during which wages are paid to covered workers, and the payments are due generally within 31 days after the end of the quarter. Contributions collected are the cash payments received during the calendar year and therefore are not equal to the collections due for that year.

Interest Credited to Trust Fund -- Column 9
Interest credited to trust fund during the calendar year is the earnings on the funds that have been deposited in the Unemployment Trust Fund maintained by the U.S. Treasury.

Benefits Paid -- Column 10
Benefits paid are the benefit checks issued during the calendar year, adjusted for voided checks and for transfers under the interstate combined-wage plan. Normally, checks are issued either weekly or biweekly so that benefits paid are the total cash payments for benefits during the period.

Reserves as of December 31 -- Column 11
Reserves as of December 31 are the funds on deposit in a States account - as reported by the U.S. Treasury. Trust fund balances are the major portion of reserves. The reserves for all States have been adjusted to contain amounts loaned or advanced from the Federal Unemployment Account. These advances, which can be used only for the payment of unemployment benefits, must be repaid. Excess Federal unemployment tax collections credited to the trust fund of the individual States in 1956, 1957, and 1958 in accordance with the Reed Act of 1954 have been included. These credits could be used for certain purposes other than benefit payments, and consequently the reserves in some States and years may include small amounts that could be used for purposes permitted by the Reed Act.

Federal Loans to State Reserve Fund, Balance as of End of Year -- Column 12
This column shows the balance of Federal loans to State reserve funds as of the end of the year. The balance shown is calculated by subtracting loan repayments (if any) from the total of loans made to the State.

Net Reserves, Balance as of End of Year -- Column 13
Net reserves are the reserves as of the end of the year (column 11) minus the balance of Federal loans to State reserve funds (column 12).

Taxable Wage Base, End of Year -- Column 14
The taxable wage base is the maximum amount of a covered employee's wages during a calendar year upon which State unemployment insurance taxes are assessed in accordance with the State law in effect at the end of the year. For the United State the taxable wage base reflects the employee's wages on which Federal taxes are assessed.

Contributions Collected as a Percent of Total Wages -- Column 15
This percentage is contributions collected (column 8) dived by total wages paid in covered employment (column 3).

Benefits Paid as a Percent of Total Wages -- Column 16
This percentage is benefits paid (column 10) divided by total wages paid in covered employment (column 3).

Average Employer Tax Rate as a Percent of Total Wages -- Column 17
The average employer tax rate if applied to total wages is the employer contributions due (incurred) during the year divided by the total wages paid in covered employment (column 3). Since tax rates are not applied to total wages, except in the early years of the program, these rates are useful primarily for comparisons between States and years.

Average Employer Tax Rate as a Percentage of Taxable Wages -- Column 18
The average employer tax rate if applied to taxable wages is the employer contributions due (incurred) during the year divided by the taxable wages paid in covered employment (column 4).

Reserve Ratio -- Column 19
The reserve ratio is the ratio of net reserves as of December 31 (column 13) divided by total wages paid in covered employment (column 3). Ratios are not computed for States with negative net reserves.

High Cost Rate -- Column 20
The cost rate is the highest ratio since January 1958 of benefits paid, including State share of extended benefits (column 10 + column 45) divided by total wages paid in covered employment (column 3) for the same period. It is a relative measure of benefits paid to total wages of taxable employers.

High Cost Month and Year -- Column 21
The high cost for a 12-month period shows the month and year since January 1958 in which the cost rate was the highest (column 20). It indicates the period of time in which benefits paid were highest when compared with total taxable wages paid.

High Cost Multiple -- Column 22 The multiple is the reserve ratio (column 19) divided by the high cost rate (column 20). It is a measure of reserve fund adequacy.


Taxable and Reimbursable

Number of First Payments -- Column 23 The number of first payments is the count of the first unemployment insurance check issued to each claimant during his or her benefit year. In States with a variable benefit year (different beginning and ending dates for each claimant), most claimants are issued only one first payment during a calendar year. In States with a uniform benefit year (the same beginning and ending dates for all claimants), it is possible for a relatively few claimants to be issued two first payments during a calendar year.

Weeks Compensated for All Unemployment -- Column 24
Weeks compensated for all unemployment is the number of weeks of unemployment for which benefits were paid, including both total and partial unemployment.

Number of Claimants Exhausting Benefits -- Column 25
The number of claimants exhausting benefits is the sum of claimants who received the total amount of their entitlement (maximum amount of benefits) before the end of their benefit year. It is possible for a claimant to be counted twice if, under a rare set of circumstances, the claimant exhausts his benefits early in calendar year, establishes a new benefit year, and exhaust his entitlement for the second benefit year within the calendar year. Claimants who lost all benefit rights through disqualification are not included in the exhaustees.

Claimants Exhausting Benefits as a Percent of First Payments -- Column 26
Claimants exhausting benefits are dived by the number of first payments for the 12 months ending September 30 for the calendar years through 1959, and for the 12 months ending June 30 for 1960 and thereafter.

Average Potential Duration -- Column 27
The potential duration of a claimant is the entitlement (maximum amount of benefits) divided by the weekly benefit amount. The average potential duration of all claimants during the year is the sum of the potential duration for each claimant divided by the total number of claimants who established an entitlement during the year. Some States have a uniform potential duration for all claimants.

Average Actual Duration -- Column 28
The average duration of compensable unemployment is the n umber of weeks compensated during the year divided by the number of first payments. It may include more than one period of continuous unemployment. It excludes all unemployment for which no benefits were paid, such as waiting periods, disqualifications, and any time after exhaustion of benefits.

Average Actual Duration for Exhaustees -- Column 29 The average actual duration for exhautees is the weeks compensated for all exhaustees divided by the number of exhaustees during the year.

Average Weekly Number of Insured Unemployed -- Column 30
The average weekly number of insured unemployed is the number of continued weeks claimed (not published in this Handbook) divided by 52 weeks. It includes those serving a waiting period and, in some instances, those claimants who may be disqualified.

Average Weekly Insured Unemployed as a Percent of Covered
Employment -- Column 31

This percentage is the average weekly number of insured unemployed (column 30) divided by the sum of the average monthly taxable covered employment (column 2) and the average monthly reimbursable covered employment (column 34). It is often called the rate of insured unemployment.

Average Weekly Benefit Amount -- Column 32
The average weekly benefit amount is the benefits paid for total unemployment during the year divided by the number of weeks for which benefits were paid (weeks compensated for total unemployment). Payments for partial unemployment are excluded from both numerator and denominator.

Ratio of Average Weekly Benefit Amount to Average Weekly Total Wage -- Column 33
This ratio is the average weekly benefit amount (column 32) divided by the average weekly total wage in taxable and reimbursable employment. The latter concept is derived as follows: (column 3 + Column 37) / [(column 2 + column 34 x 52 weeks ]


Reimbursable

Average Monthly Total Covered Employment -- Column 34
The average monthly total covered employment on a reimbursable basis is the 12-month average of the covered employment of public and nonprofit employers as reported for the payroll period including the 12th day of the month. The total is the sum of the public sector (column 35) and the nonprofit sector (column 36).

Average Monthly Covered Employment In the Public Sector -- Column 35
The average monthly covered employment in the public sector is the 12-month average of covered employment of State and local governments.

Average Monthly Covered Employment in the Private Nonprofit Sector -- Column 36
The average monthly covered employment in the private nonprofit sector is the 12-month average of covered employment in the private nonprofit sector.

Total Wages Paid in Total Covered Employment -- Column 37
Total wages paid in covered employment are all the wages paid to public (State and local governments) and nonprofit employees for all payroll periods ending in a year, including cash bonuses, the cash value of meals and lodgings when supplied, and tips and other gratuities. Deferred compensation, such as employer payments to retirement or stock bonus plans, and employer payments for fringe benefits, such as life and health insurance, are not included.

Total Wages Paid in Public Covered Employment -- Column 38
Total wages paid in covered employment are the wages paid to public (State and local governments) employees for all payroll periods ending in a year, including cash bonuses, the cash value of meals and lodgings when supplied, and tips and other gratuities. Deferred compensation, such as employer payments to retirement or stock bonus plans, and employer payments for fringe benefits, such as life and health insurance, are not included.

Total Wages Paid in Private Nonprofit Covered Employment -- Column 39
Total wages paid in covered employment are the wages paid to employees of private nonprofit organizations for all payroll periods ending in the year, including cash bonuses, the cash value of meals and lodgings when supplied, and tips and other gratuities Deferred compensation, such as employer payments to retirement or stock bonus plans, and employer payments for fringe benefits, such as life and health insurance, are not included.

Average Weekly Wage in Total Covered Employment -- Column 40
The average weekly wage in total reimbursable covered employment is the total wages paid in covered reimbursable employment (column 37) divided by the quantity of 52 times the average monthly covered employment (column 34).

Benefits Paid in Total Covered Employment -- Column 41
Benefits paid are the benefit checks issued during the calendar year adjusted for voided checks are issued either weekly or biweekly so that benefits paid are the total cash payments for benefits during the period.

Benefits Paid in Public Covered Employment -- Column 42
Benefits paid (as described in column 41 above) are those made to covered workers in the public (State and local governments ) sector.

Benefits Paid in Private Nonprofit Covered Employment -- Column 43
Benefits paid (as described in column 41 above) are those made to covered workers in the private nonprofit sector.


Federal-State Extended Benefits

Benefits Paid, Total -- Column 44
Total extended benefits paid are the benefit checks issued (plus or minus adjustments) during an extended benefit period to claimants following exhaustion of their rights to regular benefits. These benefit payments are generally referred to as "federally shared" -- State share (column 45) plus Federal share (column 46).

Benefits Paid, State Share -- Column 45
The State share of extended benefits paid (plus or minus adjustments) is 50 percent of any sharable benefit, including 50 percent of the total paid on combined wage claims, and 50 percent of the State portion of joint UI-UCFE or UCX extended payments.

Benefits Paid, Federal Share -- Column 46
The Federal share of extended benefits paid (plus or minus adjustments) is 50 percent of any sharable benefits including 50 percent of the total paid on combined wage claims and benefit payments subject to reimbursement by nonprofit or government employers.

Benefits Paid, Federal Share of Regular -- Column 47
Federal share of regular benefits represents payments made to claimants in those states whose regular duration of benefits exceeds 26 weeks. This benefit amount includes combined wage claims and benefit payments subject to reimbursement by nonprofit or government employers.

Number of First Payments -- Column 48
The number of first payments is the count of the number of first checks issued to each claimant entitled to payment under the extended benefit program.

Weeks Compensated for All Unemployment -- Column 49
Weeks compensated for all unemployment is the number of weeks of unemployment for which benefits were paid under the extended benefit program, including both total and partial unemployment.

Number of Claimants Exhausting Benefits -- Column 50
The number of claimants exhausting benefits is defined as the last extended benefit payment that claimants receive because no further benefits are available to them in their eligibility period.

Average Weekly Benefit Amount -- Column 51
The average weekly benefit amount is the benefits paid for total unemployment during the y ear divided by the number of weeks for which benefits were paid (weeks compensated for total unemployment). Payments for partial unemployment are excluded from both numerator and denominator.

Average Compensable Duration (Actual) -- Column 52
The average actual duration of compensable unemployment is the number of weeks compensated during the year divided by the number of first payments. It may include more than one period of continuous unemployment. It excludes all unemployment for which no benefits were paid, such as waiting periods, disqualifications, and any time after exhaustion of benefits.


Federal Extended Programs

Benefits Paid, Total -- Column 53
Total federal extended benefits paid are the benefit checks issued (plus or minus adjustments) during a federal extended benefit program to claimants following exhaustion or waiver of their rights to regular or extended benefits.

Number of First Payments -- Column 54
The number of first payments is the number of first checks issued to each claimant entitled to payment under the federal extended benefit program.

Weeks Compensated for All Unemployment -- Column 55
Weeks compensated for all unemployment is the number of weeks of unemployment for which benefits were paid under a federal extended benefit program, including both total and partial unemployment.

Number of Claimants Exhausting Benefits -- Column 56
The number of claimants exhausting benefits is defined as the last benefit payment under federal extended benefit program that a claimant receives because no further benefits are available to them in their eligibility period.

Average Weekly Benefit Amount -- Column 57
The average weekly benefit amount is the benefits paid for total unemployment divided by the number of weeks for which benefits were paid (weeks compensated for total unemployment). Payments for partial unemployment are excluded from both numerator and denominator.