Difference Between The Unemployment And Jobs Reports
The unemployment rate and figures from the jobs report don’t always tell the same story because they are taken from two different surveys.
The unemployment rate is taken from the household survey of individuals. It describes who is employed and who isn’t based on their responses.
The number of jobs added is taken from the establishment report, more commonly called the nonfarm payroll report. This survey of businesses describes how many jobs were created or lost by industry.
Since these reports are taken from completely different sources, the number of unemployed doesn’t match the number of jobs lost. Those discrepancies are expected, and the estimates are revised each month as more data comes in.
Duration Of Unemployment Benefits
In a normal economic climate, most states offer unemployment benefits for up to 26 weeks, or half a year, although a handful of states now offer benefits for fewer weeks. In these anything-but-normal times, however, the total period for which a former employee can receive benefits has been extended by an additional 13 weeks, up to a total of 39 weeks.
What Is Unemployment Rate
The unemployment rate is the percent of the labor force that is jobless. It is a lagging indicator, meaning that it generally rises or falls in the wake of changing economic conditions, rather than anticipating them. When the economy is in poor shape and jobs are scarce, the unemployment rate can be expected to rise. When the economy is growing at a healthy rate and jobs are relatively plentiful, it can be expected to fall.
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How Much Will You Receive
Although each state uses its own formula to calculate benefits, all states use the applicant’s prior earnings in their calculations. Because unemployment compensation is intended to partially replace your income, the amount you will receive depends on how much you used to earn. Most states use an applicant’s earnings during the highest paid calendar quarter of the base period as a starting point . Some states use the two highest paid quarters of the base period others look at the applicant’s prior annual earnings.
Once this amount is calculated, the state then uses a multiplier, based on what percentage of wages it replaces, to come up with a weekly benefit amount. For example, a state that uses the applicant’s highest paid quarter and replaces half of the applicant’s wages would multiple the total earnings in the highest paid quarter by 1/26 to come up with a weekly benefit amount.
This isn’t the last step in the process, however: Every state also has minimum and maximum benefit amounts. No matter how much you used to earn, you can’t collect more than the maximum weekly amount. Some states also pay a bit more per week to applicants with dependents.
Learn more on How Long Unemployment Benefits Last.
The District Of Columbia
The weekly benefit amount in the District of Columbia is 1/26 of your earnings in the highest quarter of your base period.
The minimum weekly benefit amount a Washingtonian could receive is $50 and the maximum is $444.
If you collect income while on unemployment benefits, the District of Columbia will disregard 1/3 of wages plus $50.
The maximum coverage for unemployment benefits is 26 weeks.
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New York’s Base Period
New York uses a “base period” for benefit calculations. The state’s base period equals one year: the first four of the last five calendar quarters. Calculations begin with what you earned during this period.
But New York is somewhat flexible. It will use your “alternate base period” instead if you didn’t earn a sufficient amount in your base period for optimum benefits available to you. The alternate period is the last four quarters. This method effectively tosses out that last, fifth quarter. Wages earned in the quarter you apply for benefits aren’t included.
Calculating Your Futa Tax Liability
You must pay unemployment taxes if:
- You paid wages of $1,500 or more to employees in any calendar quarter of a year, or
- You had one or more employees for at least some part of a day in 20 or more different weeks during the year.
You must count all employees, including full-time, part-time, and temporary workers. Don’t count partners in a partnership, and don’t count wages paid to independent contractors and other non-employees,
You must pay federal unemployment tax based on employee wages or salaries. The FUTA tax is 6% on the first $7,000 of income for each employee. Most employers receive a maximum credit of up to 5.4% against this FUTA tax for allowable state unemployment tax. Consequently, the effective rate works out to 0.6% .
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Criticisms Of Measuring Unemployment
There are always complications in measuring the number of unemployed. For example, what about people who do not have jobs and would be available to work, but have gotten discouraged at the lack of available jobs in their area and stopped looking? Such people, and their families, may be suffering the pains of unemployment. But the survey counts them as out of the labor force because they are not actively looking for work. Other people may tell the Census Bureau that they are ready to work and looking for a job but, truly, they are not that eager to work and are not looking very hard at all. They are counted as unemployed, although they might more accurately be classified as out of the labor force. Still other people may have a job, perhaps doing something like yard work, child care, or cleaning houses, but are not reporting the income earned to the tax authorities. They may report being unemployed, when they actually are working.
Although the unemployment rate gets most of the public and media attention, economic researchers at the Bureau of Labor Statistics publish a wide array of surveys and reports that try to measure these kinds of issues and to develop a more nuanced and complete view of the labor market. It is not exactly a hot news flash that economic statistics are imperfect. Even imperfect measures like the unemployment rate, however, can still be quite informative, when interpreted knowledgeably and sensibly.
Fidelity: Workers Have More Power To Demand Higher Wages
The surge in vacancies shows that the UK labour market is tight – and should give workers bargaining power for pay rises.
So says Ed Monk, associate director at Fidelity International:
The shortage of HGV drivers has been well documented, but other sectors from hospitality to retail are also dealing with talent gaps – 12 of 18 sector categories are showing record levels of vacancies.
The rise in open job vacancies should hand workers even more power to demand higher wages.
Monk also points out that the picture on pay is less rosy than the headline figures suggest:
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Industrial Revolution To Late 19th Century
A description of the miserable living standards of the mill workers in England in 1844 was given by Fredrick Engels in The Condition of the Working-Class in England in 1844. In the preface to the 1892 edition, Engels noted that the extreme poverty he had written about in 1844 had largely disappeared. David Ames Wells also noted that living conditions in England had improved near the end of the 19th century and that unemployment was low.
The scarcity and the high price of labor in the US in the 19th century was well documented by contemporary accounts, as in the following:
“The laboring classes are comparatively few in number, but this is counterbalanced by, and indeed, may be one of the causes of the eagerness by which they call in the use of machinery in almost every department of industry. Wherever it can be applied as a substitute for manual labor, it is universally and willingly resorted to…. It is this condition of the labor market, and this eager resort to machinery wherever it can be applied, to which, under the guidance of superior education and intelligence, the remarkable prosperity of the United States is due.”Joseph Whitworth, 1854
Scarcity of labor was a factor in the economics of slavery in the United States.
Understanding Your Base Period And Benefit Year
The amount of UI benefits you may be eligible to receive is determined by wages paid to you during either your primary or alternate base period. The base period is defined by Massachusetts law.
Primary base period
The primary base period is the last 4 completed calendar quarters prior to the effective date of your claim . For most claimants, the primary base period is used to calculate your maximum benefit credit, which is the total amount of benefits you are eligible to receive.
Alternate base period
The alternate base period is the last 3 completed calendar quarters and the period of time between the last completed quarter and the effective date of your claim. The alternate base period can only be used if:
- You don’t meet the minimum eligibility requirements using the primary base period
- Using the alternate base period will increase your maximum benefit credit by 10% or more
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What Are The Other Measures Of Us Unemployment
In response to criticisms that the official rate paints an unjustifiably rosy picture of the health of the labor market, the BLS publishes five alternative measures: U-1, U-2, U-4, U-5, and U-6. Though these are often referred to as unemployment rates , U-3 is the official and the most commonly cited national unemployment rate. The others are characterized as measures of “labor underutilization.”
Coronavirus: Congress Passes $300 Per Week Unemployment Supplement
The first program, known as Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation , extends unemployment benefits by an extra 13 weeks when state unemployment payments expire.
The second, called Pandemic Unemployment Assistance , allows the self-employed, including most gig workers and freelancers, to qualify for benefits if they meet certain criteria. Those who can’t work because they have Covid-19, are under quarantine, or are caring for a children whose school has closed due to Covid-19 are also eligible for unemployment under PUA.
Both programs close to new claimants on March 14, 2021, and expire for existing claimants on April 5, 2021.
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How Long Do You Have To Work In Florida To Collect Unemployment
You must have earned at least $3,400 before taxes in what is called the base period, which is the first four complete quarters beginning 18 months prior to your claim. You must be able to work, available to work, and actively seeking work. This includes being able to get to a job and have child care if necessary.
How Do You Calculate Unemployment Benefits In Florida
To calculate the amount of your benefit, you can use this helpful Florida Unemployment Calculator. On the Florida CONNECT site, you will need to claim your weeks of unemployment every two weeks that you are out of work. Within 18 days of filing your claim, you will get an information notice with specific instructions.
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Computing Partial Unemployment Benefits For A Weekly Claim When Income Was Reported
Whenever income is reported on a weekly claim certification, all wages earned in that week are added to other types of income to determine the gross income for the week.
The department uses the “partial wage formula” to compute whether partial unemployment benefits are payable and if so, what amount should be paid.
It is possible to receive a partial unemployment benefit payment for a week even when your gross income is greater than your weekly benefit rate . However, you will not receive benefits if you work a total of 32 or more hours for all employers in a week you are claiming or if your total gross pay is more than $500.00.
The “partial wage formula” used to compute partial weekly unemployment benefits is shown below:
NOTE: The smallest unemployment benefit payment that we will issue is $5.00, so if your calculation results in an amount which is less than $5.00, no payment will be made. In addition, if your total gross pay is more than $500.00 you will not be eligible for a partial unemployment payment regardless of your weekly benefit rate.
Example: WBR=$200 Gross Income=$250
How Unemployment Taxes Work
In brief, the unemployment tax system works as follows:
- Employers pay into the system, based on a percentage of total employee wages.
- You don’t deduct unemployment taxes from employee wages.
- Most employers pay both federal and state unemployment taxes.
- Employers must pay federal unemployment taxes and file an annual report.
- The tax paid goes into a fund that pays unemployment benefits to employees who have been laid off.
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How Is The State Unemployment Tax Calculated
Like other payroll taxes, you pay SUTA taxes on a percentage of each employees earnings, up to a certain amount.
Your SUTA tax rate falls somewhere in a state-determined range. States assign your business a SUTA tax rate based on industry and history of former employees filing for unemployment benefits. New companies usually face a standard rate.
Each state decides on its SUTA tax rate range. The ranges are wide: Kentuckys range, for example, is 0.3% to 9%.
Each state also decides on an annual SUTA limit so that an employees earnings after that amount are no longer taxed until the following year.
You might know that Social Security taxes stop after an employee earns $137,700 for the year. The SUTA limit, also called a SUTA wage base, is the same concept.
Do All The Unemployed Get Ui
No. In ordinary times, most unemployed workers dont receive UI benefits. UI does not cover people who leave their jobs voluntarily, people looking for their first jobs, and people reentering the labor force after leaving voluntarily. Self-employed workers, gig workers, undocumented workers, and students traditionally arent eligible to apply for UI benefits.
In addition, most states require unemployed workers to have worked a minimum amount of time or received a minimum amount of earnings from their previous employer to be eligible. The minimum amount of earnings required to qualify for UI benefits ranged from $1,000 to $5,000 in 2019. Due to differences in eligibility criteria, the UI recipiency ratethe portion of unemployed people who receive UI benefitsvaries significantly across states. In the fourth quarter of 2019, Mississippis 9 percent recipiency rate was the lowest, while Massachusettss 57 percent rate was the highest.
Another consequence of earnings and work history requirements is that low wage workersare among the least likely to get UI benefits.
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The Amount Of Unemployment Compensation You Will Receive Depends On Your Prior Earnings And On How Your State Calculates Benefits
By Lisa Guerin, J.D.
If you’ve lost your job, you may be eligible for unemployment compensation: benefits paid to those who are out of work through no fault of their own, until they can find new employment. Unemployment benefits are available through a program that’s jointly run by the federal and state governments. Federal law determines the general outlines of the program state laws set the rules on who’s eligible for benefits, how much they receive, and so on.
Unemployment Insurance Benefits Estimator
The Unemployment Benefits Estimator is a quick reference for determining your approximate potential benefit amounts if you were to file your claim this week. These results are an approximation presented for illustration purposes only. This estimate is not a guarantee of benefits.
To be as accurate as possible, you may want to refer to pay stub and/or Form W-2 you have received from your employer. If you refer to a Form W-2, you will need to convert your gross pay from a yearly total into quarterly amounts based on when you were paid.
You must have worked for a liable employer under the North Dakota Unemployment Insurance program. Not all employers are considered liable or covered employers. Liable employers are required to pay unemployment insurance taxes on the wages they pay out.
If you worked in any other state, make sure you are combining the wages from each state you worked with your North Dakota wages for each quarter.
This estimate is based on the amounts you are providing and may differ from your actual benefit amount. This is merely an approximation presented for illustration purposes only. This estimate is not a guarantee of benefits.
The Weekly Benefit Amount and the total number of weeks you may receive benefits for are based on wages earned from liable employment during the Base Period.
The approximate weekly benefit amount will be the total of your highest two and one-half quarters of base period earnings divided by 65.
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Why Are Unemployment Benefits So Low In Florida
The governor inherited a website and benefit restrictions from his predecessor, former Gov. Rick Scott, that saved the state and employers money and kept the benefit rate low when the economy was chugging along. But the system has proved unworkable in a crisis. Data for precise national comparisons will not be out for some time.
Unemployment Taxes At The State Level
Both the federal government and most state governments collect unemployment taxes. The federal government collects unemployment funds and pays into state fundsknown as State Unemployment Tax . The federal funds help to supplement what the states collect.
Many employers pay both federal and state unemployment taxes, depending on what state you are doing business in. To find out if you, as a business owner, need to pay state unemployment tax, contact your state’s employment agency. If your state collects this tax, you will need to register with your state.
All businesses with employees must get a Federal Employer ID Number , to be used for all employment taxes. This ID number qualifies as the registration for your business and federal unemployment insurance payments.
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