ET Financial Data Handbook 394 -- General Notes

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At the end of 1970 there were 17 states or jurisdictions that had some coverage on a reimbursable basis: California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, and Wisconsin. The reimbursable coverage has been excluded from Contributions Collected, Benefits Paid, Average Monthly Covered Employment, Total and Taxable Wages, Average Employer Tax Rates, and from ratios and percentages derived from these figures. However, the claims resulting from reimbursable coverage have not been excluded from such figures as the Average Weekly Benefit, Number of First payments, Weeks Compensated, Claimants Exhausting Benefits, the Average Duration figures, and the Average Weekly Insured Unemployed. Consequently, from 1938 through 1970, the ratio of Average Weekly Benefit to Average Weekly Total Wage and the Average Weekly Insured Unemployed as a Percent of the Covered Employment have reimbursables in the numerator but not in the denominator.

During 1971, reimbursable coverage was approximately the same as for 1970; however, employment and wage data were not available for 2 of the 17 States and benefit payment data were not available for 5 States. From 1972 through 1976 all States reported reimbursable employment and wage data; however, benefit payment data were not available for a few States in 1972. Commencing in 1971, the ratio of Average Weekly Benefit Amount to Average Total Weekly Wage and the Average Weekly Insured Unemployed as a Percent of Covered Employment includes reimbursables in both numerator and denominator.

In October 1970, benefit payments began under the extended benefit provisions of Public Law 91-373. The law provides that extended benefit payments are to be paid one half by the States and one half by the Federal Government. Extended benefits became mandatory for all States by January 1, 1972. Some States began payment of these benefits prior to that time, and data are shown where applicable.

The Puerto Rico Employment Security Act became effective January 1, 1957, and employees engaged in the agricultural aspects of the sugar cane industry were brought under the act in June 1962. Prior to this date these employees were covered under a special unemployment insurance law. In order to be comparable to other States, this coverage should be excluded, but it has not always been possible to do so. Employers (including those in the sugar cane industry) not subject to Federal tax paid taxes of 3 percent through 1962 and 3.1 percent since then. Beginning in 1964 the Average Weekly Insured Unemployed has included workers in the sugar cane industry while the Covered Employment that is used to derive the percentage of unemployed has excluded these employees.

Contributions Collected in 1938 and 1939 include receipts from railroads and related employers subject thereafter to the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act. Also in 1938 are included refunds of $40,562,000 deposited by the Federal Government in the unemployment trust fund accounts of 15 States that were collected on 1936 payrolls under Title IX of the Social Security Act.

Benefits Paid excludes, under Title XIII of the Social Security Act, reconversion unemployment benefits for seamen of $1,018,777 in 1947, $3,330,528 in 1948, $1,286,940 in 1949, $311,739 in 1950, and $1,941 in 1951.

Following are the dates on which benefits were first payable for each State or jurisdiction:

July 1936
January 1938
Alabama, Arizona, California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia
April 1938
Indiana, Mississippi
July 1938
Iowa, Michigan, South Carolina
September 1938
December 1938
New Mexico, Oklahoma
January 1939
Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Washington, Wyoming
July 1939
Illinois, Montana
January 1961
Puerto Rico
January 1978
Virgin Islands

Reserves as of December 31 exclude the transfer of $98 million in 1949 and $8 million in 1941 to the Railroad Unemployment insurance Fund.

The taxable wage base figures for each State is the base in effect at the end of the year. The tax base for Federal taxes was Total Wages during 1938 and 1939; $3,000 from 1940 through 1971, $4,200 for 1972 through 1977, $6,000 for 1978 through 1982, and $7,000 from 1983 through the present.

The State and Federal wage bases are the same unless the State elects to exceed the Federal base. See State pages for the individual taxable wage base by year.

Data were not available for may of the States in the early years of the program, especially from 1939 through 1945. During subsequent years data were available for most items. Blank spaces indicate where data are not available, not comparable, or not applicable.

July 2017

The handbook 394 data from 2009-2015 was recalculated to reflect the latest available data and made available with the issuing of the 2016 handbook 394 data on July 2017.