Hawaii unemployment insurance taxes to drop

HONOLULU (AP) - Hawaii employers won't have to pay as much in unemployment insurance taxes next year.

The state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations said Thursday that unemployment insurance taxes will be cut by an average of 35 percent next year.

The news comes as the state's unemployment rate sits at a five year-low of 4.4 percent.

The department says employers will pay $130 million less in unemployment insurance taxes. That works out to about $300 less per employee.

The Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund currently has a balance necessary to pay nine months of benefits. The department says a balance to pay a year's benefits is considered an adequate reserve level.

The fund went bankrupt in December 2010 after the financial crisis. The state had to borrow $183 million to pay benefits.

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