The Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation delivered welcome news to employers Monday. After three years of elevated unemployment insurance tax rates, relief is coming in 2013. Many employers will see their tax rate cut in half from $187 to $85 per employee, and all employers will see at least a 22 percent cut. Most importantly, this is a sign that people are getting back work and that Maryland’s economic recovery is on solid footing. It is also a sign that our unemployment insurance system is working as intended.
It is also a sign that our unemployment insurance system is working as intended. When the recession hit, many were not sure we’d be able to weather the storm while still providing adequate benefits to workers. The fact that rates are dropping shows that it is possible to maintain a strong safety net without putting undue strain on employers.
At the Job Opportunities Task Force we take a lot of pride in our JumpStart program, a construction training course designed to improve the skills and employability of Baltimoreans who lack the necessary abilities to land high-wage jobs. Each year dozens of residents graduate from the program, but we’ve recently realized there are significant numbers of people who are not afforded this opportunity because they lack basic math skills and cannot pass our screening exam.
New Maryland adult drivers no longer need to complete a cumbersome amount of driver training and child support orders will be automatically suspended for people who are incarcerated.
The measures, championed by JOTF and several lawmakers during the 2012 General Assembly Session, are among dozens of new Maryland laws taking effect today.