Washington won't need loan to pay unemployment benefits

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Officials with the state's Employment Security Department announced Wednesday that a better than expected revenue forecast last week indicates that the state won't need a federal loan to continue paying unemployment benefits next year.

September projections show that the state may still need to request a line of credit from the U.S. Department of Labor, as is required by federal law to sustain at least three months of benefit payments, but officials said they do not anticipate having to borrow from that line of credit. Currently, 20 states and the Virgin Islands have requested advances from the federal government and 19 are borrowing against those lines of credit.

The agency also said there will not be a solvency tax for employers in 2021, a savings for businesses of nearly $200 million, based on a higher than expected unemployment trust fund balance at the end of September.

Under state law, a 0.2% solvency tax is required to be imposed on businesses if the unemployment trust fund is projected to fall below seven months of benefits. The Employment Security Department said that the current trust fund balance can pay seven months of benefits.