Montana Taxable Wage Base Released for 2021

The Montana Department of Labor & Industry today announced that the Unemployment Insurance (UI) Taxable Wage Base for 2021 will be $35,300, an increase of $1,200 from 2020.

 

Montana’s taxable wage base is 80% of the average annual wage rounded to the nearest $100, per MCA 39-51-1108. The average annual wage in Montana for 2019 was $44,135.12 for UI covered employers. The average annual wage is used to determine the maximum and minimum weekly UI benefit payments recipients can receive during State Fiscal Year 2021.

 

“The ongoing pandemic underscores the need for a structurally-sound Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund,” Acting Commissioner Brenda Nordlund said. “By keeping the Taxable Wage Base proportionate to the average annual wage, Montana was in a much better position than most states when the demand for benefits hit historic levels this spring.”

 

The taxable wage base applies to experience-rated employers. Most employers in Montana are classified as experience-rated, except for governmental entities and non-profit organizations. Experience rated employers pay taxes on each employee’s gross wages up to the taxable wage base.  

 

Montana’s average annual wage has increased by over $11,000 from 2009 to 2019, according to the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages, adjusted and provided by the Montana Department of Labor & Industry.

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