Idaho’s Standard Unemployment Insurance Tax Rate Drops 6.6% for 2019


For Immediate Release: Dec. 17, 2018

Information Contacts: Georgia Smith (208) 332-3570 x 2102 or Salvador Vazquez, (208) 332‐3570 ext. 3218

Idaho’s growing economy, a consistent decrease in layoffs and a solvent Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund are all contributing to a 6.6 percent decrease in unemployment insurance tax rates for 2019.

The state’s base unemployment insurance tax rate – used to calculate taxes existing Idaho employers pay will drop from 0.94 percent in 2018 to 0.878 for 2019. A new employer in Idaho will start with a tax rate of 1.0 percent – the lowest rate allowed by federal conformity requirements.

“We know Idaho employers want stability in the unemployment insurance tax rates they pay,” explains Idaho Department of Labor Director Melinda Smyser. “We are doing everything we can to help employers keep tax rates low.”

According to Smyser, the Unemployment Insurance Tax Relief Bill of 2018 is also paying off. The bill, passed unanimously by the Idaho Legislature, is lowering unemployment insurance tax rates by 32 percent over three years. As a result, Idaho businesses will save $115 million and the state will maintain a trust fund balance that can withstand a recession similar to the Great Recession of 2007.

New Idaho employers will end up with one of the lowest tax rates in the nation. According to the most recent data available (2017) on where states stand for unemployment insurance taxes paid by employers, Idaho ranked:

• 43rd in the nation in average annual tax rates paid by employers (1.2 percent); and

• 39th in the nation for the average tax rate paid by new employers (1.1 percent).

Idaho employers also play a direct role in the rise and fall of their own unemployment insurance tax rates through their experience ratings. Businesses with multiple claims filed against their companies normally see unemployment insurance tax rates go up. Each Idaho employer falls into one of 13 rate classes, which range between 0.251 and 5.4 percent. Employer experience ratings are based on the amount of benefits paid out on their account compared with the amount of unemployment insurance taxes they pay.

All of Idaho’s 13 rate classes for unemployment tax rates will see a reduction with the exception of the most deficit‐rated employers, whose rate is fixed at 5.4 percent as required by federal law.

Smyser says employers can also take several steps to control their own tax rates which include:

• Reporting all new hires within 20 days at

• Reporting and paying unemployment insurance taxes on time – see

• Reporting unemployment insurance fraud at (877) 540-8638.

• Responding quickly and efficiently to unemployment claims at

A complete list of the 2019 unemployment insurance tax arrays for businesses can be found Employers with questions or concerns about their 2019 tax rates should call Larry Ingram, unemployment insurance compliance bureau chief, at (208) 332-3576 ext. 3543.