Employment and Training Administration
Washington, D. C. 20210






October 17, 2002




October 31, 2003












Office of Workforce Security




Selected Data from Form ETA 581, Contribution Operations for the Quarter Ending March 31, 2002


Attached is a summary of selected ETA 581 data with associated charts and tables. This data was reported by state workforce agencies for their unemployment insurance tax programs for the quarter ending March 31, 2002.

If there are questions concerning this information bulletin, contact Constance I. Peterkin on 202-693-3221.



Summary of Selected National Data from Form ETA 581

Quarter Ending March 31, 2002

Subject Employers

Contributory Employers 6,807,561
Reimbursing Employers 98,515
Total Employers 6,906,076
Status Determination Promptness

  Percent Completed within:
  Total Determinations 90 days or less 180 days or less
New Employers 242,007 80.2% 88.1%
Successor Employers 37,925 70.2% 82.0%

Employer Report Filing

  Percent Filed Timely Percent Secured Percent Resolved
Contributory Employer 87.1% 93.4% 97.0%
Reimbursing Employers 85.8% 92.5% 94.3%


Beginning Balance $720.0 million New Receivables $414.4 million
Amount Liquidated $361.8 million Declared Uncollectible $13.9 million
Removed Due to Age $99.8 million Ending Balance $658.9 million

Audit Activity

Total Number of Audits 27,588 Average per Audit:  
No. Large Employer Audits 891 Quarters Audited 4.4
No. Change Audits 11,412 Hours Spent Auditing 7.1
Change in Total Wages:   Change in Contributions:  
Underreported $374.4 million Underreported $5.4 million
Overreported $77.7 million Overreported $1.2 million
Net $4.1 million
Number of Employees Misclassified as Independent Contractors: 25,306

Selected Data from Form ETA 581
Quarter Ending March 31, 2002

Subject Employers

The number of employers subject to state unemployment compensation laws totaled 6,906,076 as of March 31, 2002. This is an increase of 84,258 (1.2%) employers over the same quarter 1-year ago and a decrease of 20,371 employers from the quarter ending December 31, 2001. These totals include an estimate of 3,600 employers for the Virgin Islands. Accounts for 275,558 employers were terminated or inactivated during the quarter.

Status Determination Promptness

Status determinations establishing liability for new employers totaled 242,007, of which 80.2% were completed within 90 days or less from the end of the quarter in which the employer first became liable. The promptness rate increased to 88.1% for the “180 days or less” period. Compared to the preceding quarter, 46,102 more determinations were made and performance for the 90-day measure improved by 0.2 percentage points but dropped by 2.2 percentage points for the 180-day measure. With the exception of Arkansas (56.4%), all states performed above 60% for the 90-day measure, including 20 states with scores above 80%. Rhode Island (93.9%), Colorado (96.8%), and Kansas (96%) performed above 90%. For the 180-day measure, performance ranged from 71.2% (Arkansas) to 98.4% (Colorado). Arkansas, Delaware and Iowa (both 77.8%), Vermont (77.9%) Massachusetts (78.9%), and Arizona (79%) scored below 80% while Colorado, Kansas (97.7%), Rhode Island (96.5%) and Utah (95.8%) scored above 95%.

Over 70% of 37,925 status determinations for successor employers were completed within the 90-day period. The promptness rate increased to 82% for the 180-day period. The number of determinations was 11,413 more than for the preceding quarter and performance was 6.3 percentage points higher for the 90-day measure and 4.5 percentage points higher for the 180-day measure. Thirty-four states exceeded the average for the 90-day measure with Washington (94.2%), Maryland (91.5%), and Idaho (90.5%) above 90%. Seventeen states were above 90% for the 180-day measure.

See Table 1 for each state’s score for status determination promptness.

Filing Reports – Contributory and Reimbursing Employers

Contributory employers were expected to file over 6.8 million contribution and wage reports during the quarter, of which 87.1% were received by the due date (filed timely). By the end of the quarter, an additional 6.3% of reports were received as the results of voluntary filing or additional state enforcement efforts for a score of 93.4% for “secured” reports. The percent of reports filed timely decreased by 1.2 percentage points below the preceding quarter while the percent of secured reports increased by 0.9 percentage points. Twenty-six states reported over 90% of reports filed timely including North Dakota at 100.8%. Three states, Virginia (33.7%), Puerto Rico (65%), and New Jersey (73.7%), received less than 80% of reports timely. For the secured measure, four states performed at 100% or above (VT, ND, SD, TX) and only three states scored below 90% (NJ, PR, MI).

The “resolved” measure indicates, as of the end of March, the status of reports that were due during the quarter ending September 30, 2001. The 97% score represents a cumulative percentage of the 6,779,109 reports that were filed timely, received but not timely, or resolved through a delinquency action. With the exceptions of New Jersey (78.3%), Puerto Rico (81.8%), Michigan (89.6%), and California (89%), all states scored above 90% including 19 states exceeding 100%. Where scores exceed 100%, the number of reports received was greater than the number of employers at the time the count of employers was taken for that quarter.

Reimbursing employers filed 85.8% of 89,930 wage reports by the due date and 92.5% of these reports were secured by the end of the quarter. Of the 89,842 reports due for the September 2001 quarter, 94.3% were “resolved” by the end of March 2002. In comparison to the preceding quarter, performance dropped by 2.4 percentage points for “filing timely,” rose by 0.4 percentage points for secured, and remained the same for “resolved.” Thirty-eight states exceeded the 85.8% average for “filing timely,” including 14 states with scores above 95%, while four states scored below 60%. For “secured,” scores ranged from 65.1% for New York to 101.9% for North Dakota. All states exceeded 90% for “resolved” except New York (67.4%), Puerto Rico (86.9%), Mississippi (87.4%), and Arkansas (86.4%).

See Tables 2 and 3 for report delinquency scores for contributory and reimbursing employers, by state.


Past due contributions and reimbursements dropped to $658.9 million from the $720 million at the end of the preceding quarter, a decrease of 8.5%. This is an increase of $23.8 million (3.8%) over the total at the end of same quarter 1-year ago. Receivables decreased in 15 states from both the preceding and 1-year ago quarters. Twenty-two other states reported either an increase or decrease from the preceding or 1-year ago quarter while the remaining 15 states indicated increases for both periods. New Jersey reported the largest decline in receivables from both the preceding quarter, $40.9 million, and the same quarter 1-year ago, $20.8 million. California ($17.2 million) reported the greatest increase in receivables from the preceding quarter while Florida ($12.3 million) reported the greatest increase from the 1-year ago quarter. During the quarter, $414.4 million in new receivables was established, $361.8 million was collected, $13.9 million was declared uncollectible, and $99.8 million was removed from balances due to age.

See Table 4 for collection activities and state receivable balances as of the end of March 2002.

The breakout of the receivables balance by age show 31.1% at “6 months or less,” 13.6% at 9 months, 18.8% at 12 months, 12.1% at 15 months, and 24.4% at “over 15 months.” The percentage of amounts in the “9 months” and “over 15 month” categories dropped by 4.7 and 5.1 percentage points, respectively, from the preceding quarter. Amounts rose in the “6 months or less” category by 2.9 percentage points, by 5.5 percentage points at “12 months,” and 1.4 percentage points in the “15 months” category. Kansas, Georgia, and Alaska reported more than 60% of receivables at “6 months or less” and l6% or less at “over 15 months.” Wyoming reported 67.4% of its receivables at “9 months,” reflecting the shift from the 60% reported at “6 months or less” for the preceding quarter. In contrast, Delaware reported 6.5% at “6 months or less” and 75.1% at “over 15 months” and Illinois indicated 0.1% at “6 months or less” and 45.4% at “over 15 months.”

See Table 5 for the percent distribution of receivables by age as of March 31, 2002, for each state.

Audit Activity

The number of employers audited during the quarter equaled 27,588, which was 2,959 more audits than in the previous quarter and 176 more than for the same quarter 1-year ago. Audits of large employers (891) represented 3.2% of total audits. The average audit covered 4.4 calendar quarters and required 7.1 hours to complete.

A change in the amount of wages and/or contributions previously reported by employers was found in 11,412 or 41.4% of audits. Total wages were underreported by $374.4 million and overreported by $77.7 million, for a gross change of $452.1 million. Contributions were underreported by $5.4 million and overreported by $1.2 million, for a gross change of $6.6 million and a net change of approximately $4.1 million. Net contributions per audit averaged nearly $150 and ranged from $1,628 in California to -$1,823 in Maine. Net contributions per audit hour ranged from $113 in Wisconsin to -$416 in Maine, with a national average of $21.

Forty-six states reported the discovery of 25,306 employees that were previously misclassified as independent contractors by employers. This is 4,304 more employees than the number discovered in the preceding quarter and 642 more than for the same quarter 1-year ago. The numbers ranged from 4,129 employees reported by New Jersey to one employee in Pennsylvania.

See Table 6 for the number of total audits, large employer audits, change audits, average quarters audited, average hours spent auditing, and the number of employees discovered misclassified as independent contractors and the change from prior quarters. See Table 7 for the change in total wages and contributions by state.


Summary of Selected National Data – QE 3/31/2002
Status Determination Promptness – QE 3/31/2002
Filing Employer Reports – QE 3/31/2002
Change in Age of Receivables Balance, QE 12/31/2001 to QE 3/31/2002
Employees Misclassified as Independent Contractors – QE 3/31/2000 to QE 3/31/2002


Table 1 – Status Determination Promptness
Table 2 – Filing Reports – Contributory Employers
Table 3 – Filing Reports – Reimbursing Employers
Table 4 – Collection Activities
Table 5 – Percent Distribution of Receivables by Age
Table 6 – Audit Activity
Table 7 – Audit Change in Total Wages and Contributions