Unemployment Compensation

The Commonwealth is best served by a public system of unemployment compensation that helps alleviate the potential economic hardships of the involuntarily unemployed while these individuals work towards transitioning back into the workforce. The PA Chamber advocates to ensure that the UC system can remain intact for those who lose their job through no fault of their own. This includes opposing UC tax increases, and supporting changes in the law that help to promote fairness, control costs and ensure the UC Trust Fund is solvent.

Advocating for Transparency, Fairness in PA’s Unemployment Compensation System During COVID-19 Pandemic

Unemployment compensation has been a key component of the government response to the pandemic. While it made sense to utilize an existing system to drive financial support to impacted individuals, it has become clear that the current law lacks clarity and guidance necessary to fairly and efficiently address pandemic-related claims. This has led to some unintended consequences, including workforce challenges for employers, many of whom report employees quitting or refusing offers to return to work.

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Department of Labor and Industry Issues UC Fraud Guidance

Department of Labor and Industry Issues UC Fraud Guidance

Jul 26, 2021 | Tristan Daedalus

Responding to skyrocketing claims of Unemployment Insurance Fraud, the PA Department of Labor and Industry this week provided employers with helpful tips for reporting fraudulent claims.  When responding to a Notice of Claim Filed that you believe to be fraudulent, keep the following tips in mind:

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PA Chamber: As Workforce Shortage Continues, States Across the Nation Pull Back Federal Unemployment Benefit Enhancements

PA Chamber: As Workforce Shortage Continues, States Across the Nation Pull Back Federal Unemployment Benefit Enhancements

Jun 17, 2021 | Tricia Harris

PA Chamber of Business and Industry President and CEO Gene Barr issued the following statement regarding the impact the federal unemployment compensation benefit is having on a national workforce shortage as Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards becomes the first Democratic state executive to withdraw from the federal program:

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PA Chamber of Business and Industry issues statement on state work force

PA Chamber of Business and Industry issues statement on state work force

Jun 1, 2021 | Pennsylvania Business Report

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PA Chamber: Workforce Shortage Slowing Economic Recovery

PA Chamber: Workforce Shortage Slowing Economic Recovery

May 27, 2021 | Tricia Harris

PA Chamber of Business and Industry President and CEO Gene Barr issued the following statement regarding the current state of Pennsylvania’s workforce as employers experience challenges filling open positions:

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The Commonwealth is best served by a public system of unemployment compensation that helps alleviate the potential economic hardships of the involuntarily unemployed while these individuals work towards transitioning back into the workforce. The system should provide economic security while incentivizing claimants to re-enter the workforce as quickly as possible.

Pennsylvania’s unemployment compensation system is almost entirely funded by employers, who pay among the highest UC taxes in the country. Pennsylvania employers pay the 4th highest average tax rate on total wages, according to first quarter 2018 data from the U.S. Department of Labor, whose rankings account for differences in the amount of wages subject to tax, known as a state’s taxable wage base. And according to the Tax Foundation’s 2018 State Business Tax Climate Index, Pennsylvania’s UC taxes ranked as the most damaging to employers, taking into account maximum and minimum rates, additional costs and complexity.

Excessive UC costs and an unsustainable system can be a deterrent to job creation and brings instability to a program that serves as an important safety net. The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry opposes any broad-based UC tax increase proposal and supports changes in the law that promote fairness, help control costs and ensure solvency of the UC trust fund.

Specifically, the PA Chamber supports:

  • A system limited to temporary unemployment benefits only for those who were clearly attached to the workforce, lost their job through no fault of their own and are actively seeking new employment;
  • A tax rating system that fairly determines employer tax rates by considering an employer’s past experience;
  • Strict enforcement of the work-search requirement;
  • Benefits that are based on prior wages earned in covered employment;
  • A UC Trust Fund that is reactive to fund balance levels in order to be solvent and avoid the need to borrow from the federal government; and
  • Legislative and administrative efforts to combat fraud and abuse of the UC system and hold perpetrators accountable