Unemployment Insurance

Unemployment insurance is completely funded by employer contributions. The vast majority of private, for-profit employers in Massachusetts are required to make unemployment insurance contributions for their employees.

Very few non-farm employers are exempt from paying unemployment insurance contributions. Non-agricultural businesses must pay for unemployment insurance if they:

  • pay wages of at least $1,500 in any calendar quarter

OR

  • employed one or more individuals on any day in any 13 weeks in a calendar year for state unemployment insurance, or in any 20 weeks in a calendar year for federal unemployment insurance (whether or not these weeks were consecutive or the employees remained the same).

A slightly larger number of farm employers are exempt from paying unemployment insurance contributions, though still relatively few. Agricultural businesses must make unemployment contributions if they:

  • paid wages of $20,000 or more in any calendar quarter for federal unemployment insurance, or paid wages of $40,000 or more in any calendar quarter for state unemployment insurance

OR

  • employed 10 or more individuals on any day in any 20 weeks in a calendar year (whether or not these weeks were consecutive or the employees remained the same).

For more information on exemptions from unemployment insurance in Massachusetts, see this link, and for more information on federal and state unemployment tax laws and rates, refer to this page.

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