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Determining your tax rates


Washington's Unemployment Insurance program is an experience-based system. In general, your tax rate depends on how much your former workers collect in unemployment benefits and the size of your payroll.

There are two major components of state unemployment taxes, an experience-rating tax based on an average of the employer's layoff history over the past four fiscal years and a shared-cost (social) tax based on costs from the previous year that can't be attributed to a specific employer.

Employers with delinquent tax bills also may receive a range of delinquent-tax rates. The lowest delinquent-tax rate for experienced employers in 2024 is 1.25%, and the highest is 8.15%.



Tax rate notices

Your tax rate for the following year is sent out in December and applies for the entire calendar year.


New employer tax rates

If you are a new employer or haven't been in business long enough, you won't have enough "experience" to get your own tax rate. Instead, you will be assigned a rate based on your industry.

You will receive your tax rate in the mail with your new employer packet after we set up your account.

For 2024, new employers will pay 90 percent of the average rate for all businesses in their respective industries, with the minimum rate being 1.00% as set by federal law.


Qualified employer tax rates

Review the 2024 tax rate table (.pdf) for qualified and delinquent employers.


Calculate your tax rate

You can use our online calculators to figure out your tax rate. Use this calculator (.xls) if you have your taxable wages and benefit charges for the last four years.


Delinquent-tax rate

You must send all past-due taxes and/or late reports to us by Sept. 30 to avoid a delinquent tax rate for the following year.

If you owe taxes and cannot make full payment, contact the collections unit by emailing esctax@esd.wa.gov for setting up a payment plan. If your payment plan is approved before Sept. 30, you will receive your earned tax rate for the following year, rather than the delinquent rate.



Recent tax relief

Tax-rate factors may affect your employer taxes



2024 Tax rate table for employers

2024 Tax rate calculator


Average tax rates

The 2024 average tax rate is 1.35%

The average tax rate in recent years has been:

2023 1.43%
2022 1.30%
2021 1.36%
2020 1.03%
2019 1.08%
2018 1.06%
2017 1.18%
2016 1.38%
2015 1.56%
2014 1.75%
2013 1.98%
2012 2.04%
2011 2.48%
2010 2.39%



Relevant rules and laws



Prior years