Begin Main Content Area

Types of Rates

New Employer Rate

When a business starts to pay wages for the first time, it is assigned a "new employer" basic contribution rate of:

  • 3.5 percent for new employers (Non-construction)
  • 9.7 percent for new employers (Construction)

The new employer contribution rate is increased or decreased by the Surcharge adjustment, if the surcharge is in effect. The following chart identifies the total contribution rate assigned by law:

Newly Liable Contribution Rate for Non-Construction Employers Newly Liable Contribution Rate for Construction Employers
2013 - 2017
2018 - 2022
2023 and thereafter

The new employer contribution rate is multiplied by the amount of taxable wages paid by the employer to determine the employer's contribution liability.

The new employer contribution rate will apply to an employer for the first two or three calendar years that the employer pays wages. After that time, the employer may have sufficient experience to receive a computed contribution rate or will receive a standard contribution rate.


Standard Rate

Contributory employers who have a sporadic employment history may be assigned a standard contribution rate after they no longer qualify for new employer status.


  • A standard contribution rate would be assigned to an employer who files "None" reports (no gross wages) during each quarter of one of the last four years ending on the computation date (June 30th), because the employer would not have sufficient employment experience upon which to base a calculated contribution rate.
  • A standard contribution rate would be assigned to an employer whose account is inactive, and less than five years later, the employer reactivates his account or opens a new business. The employer would be assigned a standard contribution rate based on the balance in the reserve account.

One standard contribution rate is assigned to employers with zero or positive reserve account balances, while a higher standard contribution rate is assigned to employers with negative reserve account balances. The solvency measures in effect are added to the standard contribution rates in accordance with the law. The following chart identifies the total contribution rate assigned by law:

Year Standard Contribution Rate for Zero or Positive Reserve Account Balance Standard Contribution Rate for Negative Reserve Account Balance
2013 - 2017
2018 - 2019
2020 - 2022
2023 and thereafter

Computed (Experience-Based) Contribution Rate

Calculating an employer's contribution tax rate

After an employer has provided covered employment and paid wages for approximately two complete calendar years, the employer may then be eligible for an experience-based contribution rate. An experience-based contribution rating system allows for variations in the contribution rates assigned to individual employers through the assessment of each employer's unemployment risk. The Office of UC Tax Services (UCTS) reviews an employer's unemployment compensation history and calculates a contribution rate each calendar year based on the accumulated experience through June 30 of the preceding year. Employers with high rates of unemployment can expect higher contribution rates, while employers showing a stable employment history and low unemployment can expect to receive lower contribution rates.

An employer's experience-based contribution rate is comprised of six components. These components are:

These six components are added together to determine an employer's contribution rate.

Delinquency Contribution Rate

Delinquent employers are assigned a delinquency contribution rate that is 3 percent higher than the rate which they would otherwise be assigned. The 3 percent delinquency rate factor is assigned to employers who fail or refuse to:
  • file all required registration documents; and/or
  • file all required quarterly UC tax returns; and/or
  • pay all contributions, interest and penalties due through the second quarter of the year prior to the calendar year for which contribution rates are being calculated.

The delinquency contribution rate assigned to delinquent employers is adjusted by the solvency measures applicable to the particular year. The delinquency contribution rate is the sum of the Basic Rate (Reserve Ratio Factor + Benefit Ratio Factor + State Adjustment Factor) + 3 percent (3%) + the Solvency Measures (Surcharge Adjustment + Additional Contributions + Interest Factor, if applicable).

Appealing a Delinquency Contribution Rate

An employer may have their contribution rate recalculated to the otherwise assignable non-delinquency contribution rate by filing an appeal of the assigned contribution rate within 90 days from the mailing date of the rate notice and:

  • filing any outstanding registration documents
  • filing outstanding quarterly tax reports and paying the balance due in full or entering into a payment plan that is approved by the department.

NOTE: If an employer defaults on an approved payment plan, the delinquency contribution rate will be retroactively reinstated.

Clearing a delinquency or entering into an approved payment plan can save an employer approximately $300 per year per employee depending on the solvency measures in effect.