People back to work faster in Utah than in nearly all other states

The Utah Capitol building, Salt Lake City, date unknown. | Photo courtesy of the state of Utah

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah has the 49th lowest average in the nation for the amount of time claimants receive Unemployment Insurance benefits.  According to new data released by the U.S. Department of Labor, the average UI duration rate was 14.4 weeks for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2012.

Southern Utah’s average UI duration rate is more than a full week less than the state average. Curt Stewart, Utah Department of Workforce Services public information officer, said that the average UI duration rate in Southern Utah’s service area, which includes Washington County, Beaver, Cedar City, Kanab, Panguitch, Junction, Garfield County, and Kane County, is 13.2 weeks.

“What this means is that Utah is returning people back to employment faster than nearly every other state in the nation,” said Gov. Gary R. Herbert.  “This news bodes well for Utahns looking for work, for employers looking for qualified workers, and for our entire state economy as we push toward our goal of 100,000 jobs in 1,000 days.”

Lower unemployment and duration rates also mean employers pay lower unemployment insurance tax rates, a function of the “social rate” in the UI premium formula.

The Utah Department of Workforce Services also reported that it will pay out less than $4 million in regular UI benefits for the week ending June 2, 2012, the smallest amount since November 2008.  DWS has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Labor for its management of the UI program and for its innovative strategies to connect UI claimants to available jobs.

Utah’s relatively short UI duration rate is one of the factors which contributed to the reduction in Unemployment Insurance premiums which was passed by the legislature and signed by the governor earlier this year – providing a tax cut for all of Utah’s roughly 85,000 businesses.

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