Per the October 16, 2013, Daily Record, unemployment insurance premiums for Maryland businesses will drop down to their lowest statutory rate bands, i.e. from .3 to 7.5 percent of the taxable wage base, currently $8,500.00 per worker per annum for most workers. Governor O’Malley opines that many businesses will realize an 86% reduction in premiums from 2012 to 2014, though his figures are not self-evident.
To what extent the reduction of premiums represents workers who have simply run out of eligibility due to exhaustion of benefits or a lack of a taxable wage base period over the last two+ years is unclear. Many workers have simply given up, and it’s easy to believe that many workers will suffer displacement in the aftermath of the federal shutdown (now ended.) While most federal workers cannot get unemployment during the furlough, many workers who depend on the federal government (contractors, food service workers near federal enclaves, retailers with cash-tight customers, etc.) in suburban Maryland and throughout the state may be eligible for unemployment as a result of federal furlough job losses. While some spending will return when federal workers get their back pay, some of the damage is not merely deferred to later spending but outright lost. Time will tell.