New Jersey Department of Labor & Workforce Development Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo told state senators Thursday that the state’s businesses will continue to see a reduction in the unemployment tax in the upcoming fiscal year.
For FY 2020, the unemployment trust fund will have a $2.5 billion balance, which means the taxes employers will have to pay will be reduced, saving them about $200 million. That’s in addition to the $263 million saved this year, totaling nearly half a billion dollars, Asaro-Angelo said.
The tax rate that will now be used will signal a return to 2009 rates for the first time in those 10 years, he said.
A strong unemployment trust fund and reducing the tax rate began under Gov. Chris Christie’s administration, which in 2016 announced a tax reduction for the third year in a row, due to what was then a $1 billion surplus in the trust fund.
The fund had previously been $2.1 billion in the red, spurring legislation to sustain it — and that was money owed to the federal government.
Asaro-Angelo noted in his testimony Thursday that the department is mostly funded by the federal government, unlike other state agencies, and is only funded 4 percent by New Jersey.
In addition to the trust fund stability, New Jersey’s unemployment rate also continues to decrease, down to 4 percent this year from 4.3 percent last year, according to Asaro-Angelo.
“That means New Jersey is almost at full employment,” he said.