What Factors Affect the Cost of Unemployment Insurance?

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  • Written By: C.B. Fox
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 01 December 2019
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There are a number of different factors that affect the cost of unemployment insurance. The biggest factor in determining how much this type of insurance will cost is the location of the business, including the country, province, or state and, sometimes, the city or county it is in. The size, profitability, and nature of the business will also affect how much that business owes in unemployment insurance or unemployment tax. In some nations, a company's stability will also affect the amount the company owes.

One of the main things that affects the cost of unemployment insurance is the location of the company. Not all countries require employers to purchase this type of insurance, and those that do may scale the costs so that they reflect the cost of living within that nation. Even within a single nation, the cost of this type of insurance can vary depending on the state, province, or even city that a company is located in. Within the United States, for example, the cost can differ substantially from state to state. In some countries, the government may also pay a substantial amount of unemployment benefits, splitting the costs with employers.


Another thing that can affect the cost of unemployment insurance is the number of employees that work for a business. Large corporations with many employees will usually pay more in unemployment insurance than small companies with only a handful of employees. Small companies with little profit may also be allowed to pay a low rate for unemployment insurance.

The nature of a business can also affect the cost of unemployment insurance. Construction companies, retail stores, and factories tend to lay off a higher percentage of employees than many other types of businesses. A company in one of these types of businesses may have a higher cost of unemployment insurance to make up for the fact that many unemployed workers are coming from these fields. Businesses that have more long-term stability, such as health care, education, and government often pay lower rates.

The behavior of an individual company over time can also affect the amount that company must pay in unemployment. When determining the cost of unemployment insurance for a particular company, a government agency that manages unemployment benefits may take into account how many employees are laid off by a company annually and how many of those employees receive unemployment benefits. Some companies, especially non-profits, may only pay when former employees receive benefits.


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