Unemployment Insurance Fund rebounding

Aug 12, 2021
Written by Mark Johnson, Senior Vice President of Policy and Government Affairs

According to the Washington State Employment Security Department, our Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund is recovering after the massive hit it had taken during the pandemic. When the mandatory shutdown occurred, hundreds of thousands of workers found themselves unemployed the next day—the most significant shock our UI system had yet to encounter. Estimates were that we might have to borrow money from the federal government to keep paying benefits, as many other states had been forced to do. Fortunately, our system had a very healthy reserve, allowing us to weather the pandemic without being forced to borrow. The Trust Fund is growing again as the number of people going back to work continues to increase.

As of July 29, the UI Trust Fund was at $1.76 billion and growing. As long as unemployment continues to drop and our economy continues to grow, we should be in good shape for the foreseeable future. The UI Trust Fund is capitalized solely by employer taxes. Washington Retail serves on the Employment Security Advisory Committee.