Unexpectedly Intriguing!
February 12, 2008

Political Calculations' regular readers know that once we wrap up a major project, we often go the extra mile and also present the data we used as useful reference. Most often, that involves simple text data in a dynamic table that allows our readers to sort through the data themselves. It gets the job done, but it's not necessarily so pretty to look at!

Today, we're going one step further! We're still using a dynamic table, but this time, we're incorporating bar chart graphics into it! The table below contains the average state-by-state tax rates for unemployment insurance and workers compensation that employers have to pay for their employees, along with the combined rates for each tax. Now, you can quickly and easily see which states are really sticking it to the businesses within their borders!

As always, to dynamically sort the table, just click the column headings. The first time you click will rearrange the data in the table going from low to high value according to the column you selected, and clicking a second time will resort the data from high to low value.

U.S. State Unemployment Insurance and Workers Compensation Tax Rates
State Unemployment Insurance Tax Rate Workers Compensation Tax Rate Combined Tax Rates
Alabama 0.38%   3.17% 3.55%
Alaska 1.23%   5.00% 6.23%
Arizona 0.36%   1.73% 2.09%
Arkansas 0.80%   1.59% 2.39%
California 0.91%   4.13% 5.04%
Colorado 0.49%   2.40% 2.89%
Connecticut 0.71%   2.90% 3.61%
Delaware 0.49%   3.91% 4.40%
Florida 0.35%   3.32% 3.67%
Georgia 0.38%   2.02% 2.40%
Hawaii 0.55%   2.89% 3.44%
Idaho 0.74%   2.29% 3.03%
Illinois 1.13%   2.69% 3.82%
Indiana 0.64%   1.24% 1.88%
Iowa 0.85%   1.75% 2.60%
Kansas 0.96%   1.84% 2.80%
Kentucky 0.71%   3.78% 4.49%
Louisiana 0.32%   3.10% 3.42%
Maine 0.71%   3.21% 3.92%
Maryland 0.59%   2.03% 2.62%
Massachusetts 1.19%   1.70% 2.89%
Michigan 1.19%   2.05% 3.24%
Minnesota 0.97%   2.69% 3.66%
Mississippi 0.51%   2.29% 2.80%
Missouri 0.68%   2.50% 3.18%
Montana 0.84%   3.69% 4.53%
Nebraska 0.42%   2.25% 2.67%
Nevada 0.77%   2.36% 3.13%
New Hampshire 0.25%   2.75% 3.00%
New Jersey 0.92%   2.52% 3.44%
New Mexico 0.48%   2.41% 2.89%
New York 0.60%   3.15% 3.75%
North Carolina 0.74%   2.17% 2.91%
North Dakota 0.64%   1.10% 1.74%
Ohio 0.76%   3.0% 3.76%
Oklahoma 0.66%   2.96% 3.62%
Oregon 1.17%   1.97% 3.14%
Pennsylvania 1.16%   2.80% 3.96%
Rhode Island 1.45%   2.68% 4.13%
South Carolina 0.55%   2.50% 3.05%
South Dakota 0.25%   1.83% 2.08%
Tennessee 0.40%   2.48% 2.88%
Texas 0.46%   2.84% 3.30%
Utah 0.49%   2.06% 2.55%
Vermont 0.82%   3.24% 4.06%
Virginia 0.29%   1.52% 1.81%
Washington 1.22%   2.17% 3.39%
West Virginia 0.81%   2.20% 3.01%
Wisconsin 0.85%   2.18% 3.03%
Wyoming 0.67%   2.40% 3.07%

Update 13 February 2008: The nice thing about blogging is that the community of people who read blogs are also capable of providing faster and better fact checking than what you see in the mainstream media! (And as it happens, they're some pretty sharp beta-testers too, as we saw yesterday!) Today, we're filling in a gap that one of our readers caught: we forgot to include the sources from which the data we presented above was taken!

Data Sources

The average unemployment insurance tax rate data we presented was taken from Department of Labor data, as summarized by the Public Policy Institute of New York State.

The average workers compensation tax rate per state is considerably more tricky, especially as these rates vary not just by state, but also by occupation. Add in those states like Texas where workers comp may be voluntary and it becomes even more complicated. The data we've presented comes from the comparative state data compiled by the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services as presented in their Oregon Workers' Compensation Premium Rate Ranking for 2006.

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