SC businesses might pay to cover jobless benefits

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

September 30, 2009

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- South Carolina businesses might have to pay more for each employee over the next couple of years to rebuild the state unemployment benefit fund.

The State reported a panel of economic and employment experts released a plan Tuesday showing businesses might have to pay between $249 and $567 per worker to refill the fund.

Lawmakers would have to approve any increase in unemployment taxes.

The state also must begin in 2011 repaying an estimated $1 billion it has borrowed over the past year to make unemployment payments. That fee will increase each year, up to $147 per employee, until the loans are repaid in 2019.

Business leaders urged the panel to look for ways to reduce the cost of unemployment benefits, saying higher jobless taxes will hurt the recovery from the recession.

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