Glen Hughes, the director of unemployment compensations for Workforce WV presented to the Legislative Oversight Commission on Workforce Investment for Economic Development. The presentation was a review of threshold wages and the maximum weekly benefit rate in the WV Unemployment Compensation Program. The threshold wage is the wage amount the employer pays unemployment taxes on for each person employed during a calendar year. The maximum weekly benefit rate is the maximum amount of unemployment benefits an individual can receive, which is 66.66 percent.
Legislation increased the threshold wage to $12,000 for several years but then decreased it to $9,000 in 2022. The maximum weekly benefit rate was recalculated in 2021.
In the future, reimbursable employers may see benefits with returns. The threshold wage will be recalculated; it will increase or decrease to correspond with the average annual wage. New wage classes will be established.
The threshold wage has decreased while the maximum weekly benefits paid had increased. While the trust fund is doing well, there is a concern about what this means in the future. WVU Bureau of Business and Economic Research is looking at how these changes could affect the trust fund. Their report should be available in December. Workforce WV plans to use this report to make policy recommendations.