State Labor Unions Calling For Resolution to State Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund Deficit

By Benjamin Cox on April 12, 2022 at 8:31am

Illinois labor unions and companies in the state are concerned about a historic deficit in the state fund that provides unemployment insurance benefits to workers.

According to a press release, representatives of five key labor organizations announced that negotiations among labor, business, legislators and Gov. Pritzker’s administration over solutions to eliminate what remains of the state’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund deficit of $4.5 billion had reached an impasse.

Negotiators announced support for stop-gap action delaying temporary triggers in state law that will increase costs for businesses and decrease benefits for workers. However, if no action had been taken by the end of the year, the so-called “speed bumps” in the unemployment insurance law would drive up costs in the system by $409 million in tax increases on employers, and $318 million in benefits for jobless workers. Legislation passed in the General Assembly overtime session passed to delay those “speed bumps” until January 1st.

This is the third time Illinois has faced a multi-billion-dollar hole in its unemployment trust fund in the past 18 years, but the $4.5 billion debt is the state’s largest ever – initiated by widespread unemployment from the pandemic economic shutdown.

Labor unions are asking that the government systemically change the unemployment insurance trust fund that they feel has been historically underfunded and has had little change since 1980.