Gov. Cuomo announced last week that the state’s unemployment benefits will increase to a maximum $420 a week from $405 a week Oct. 6, while the minimum rate will rise from $64 to $100. The state’s maximum unemployment benefit rate will rise annually until it reaches 50 percent of the state’s average weekly wage, which is expected to happen in 2016.
The increase is the result of unemployment insurance reforms Gov. Cuomo and the Legislature approved in 2013. These changes will increase costs to employers in the short term, but will make the unemployment system solvent while also limiting fraud. Ultimately, employers’ costs for the program should drop, resulting in $1.2 billion in savings by 2016.
Gov. Cuomo said:
“This state’s Unemployment Insurance system has been broken for far too long – starving deserving New Yorkers of sufficient benefits and saddling businesses with billions of dollars of debt. The rate increase that resulted from our reforms that provide a boost to job-seeking New Yorkers and grant relief to businesses so they can focus on job creation and growth.”