Weekly Fiscal Facts are provided by the Wisconsin Policy Forum, the state’s leading resource for nonpartisan state and local government research and civic education. The Wisconsin Public Policy Forum logo can be downloaded here.
State Unemployment Tax Collections Dropped Since 2012
One of the largest declines in Wisconsin state tax collections has gone largely unnoticed. The unemployment insurance (UI) tax is unseen by individual taxpayers, but its taxes paid by employers are among the state’s largest.
UI tax collections declined 18.6% in 2017 to $751.3 million. This is the fifth decline in a row; since 2012, unemployment tax collections have fallen 36.8%.
Unemployment tax collections tend to grow following periods of high joblessness and decline during full employment. Wisconsin’s UI reserves were depleted during the Great Recession, requiring a $1 billion loan from the federal government to pay benefits.