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Nov-16-2016 14:01printcomments

Unemployment Tax Rates for Oregon Employers Will Remain Stable in 2017

Oregon's self-balancing approach results in the state having one of the strongest trust funds in the nation.

Oregon taxes

(SALEM, Ore.) - Unemployment tax rates for most Oregon employers will remain stable in 2017. Tax rates will remain at schedule 4 for employers that pay into the system.

Tax Schedule 4 includes an average rate of 2.26% for the first $38,400 paid to each employee. The specific rate each employer will pay under the new schedule depends on how much they have used the unemployment insurance system.

The Oregon Employment Department is mailing notifications to businesses today regarding their individual tax rates and encourages employers to wait until they receive their individual notice before attempting to contact the department with questions.

Any employer who has not received their notice within the next couple of weeks should contact the Oregon Employment Department Unemployment Insurance Tax Section. Contact information may be found online at

The tax structure for Oregon's unemployment trust fund consists of eight schedules. Movement between the schedules of tax rates is one of the self-balancing aspects of Oregon's unemployment insurance trust fund law.

Each schedule has a range of tax rates based on an employer's previous unemployment insurance experience. Employers with more unemployment insurance claims have a higher tax rate than those with fewer claims.

Oregon law requires the Employment Department to use a statutory formula to determine employer payroll tax rates for the upcoming year. These taxes go into the unemployment insurance trust fund used to pay unemployment benefits.

At its lowest point in 2010, the trust fund had a balance of just under $700 million, but as of October 31, 2016, the balance stood at $3.25 billion.

Oregon's self-balancing approach results in the state having one of the strongest trust funds in the nation. The trust fund provides an important support for temporarily unemployed workers, their families and communities while minimizing the impact on employers.

The self-balancing approach allows this support without having to reduce benefits to workers or increase employer taxes as some other states have had to do after the Great Recession.


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