Benefits of Reporting ‘Hours’ on Quarterly UI Tax Reports

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Idaho employers using the Department of Labor’s online electronic system for reporting wages can now include employee hours in their quarterly reports.

A 2014 survey of employers and other stakeholders uncovered several benefits to businesses and their employees from reporting hours such as:

  • Reducing/consolidating employer reporting requirements.
  • Reducing unemployment insurance fraud.
  • Improving corporate hiring and retention practices.
  • Helping employers set competitive wages.
  • Aligning employer demands for labor with education and workforce training initiatives.
  • Developing more effective education and training programs.
  • Greater accountability in public spending on education and training programs.
  • Providing consumer information for improved decision making.
  • Increasing knowledge and understanding about local, regional and state labor markets.

Department officials estimate nearly 8.5 percent of Idaho employers voluntarily report employee hours. Oregon and Washington are two of six states that require employers to submit hours worked for their employees and Louisiana just passed legislation requiring businesses to report hours and occupations on administrative wage records. Other states are also starting to adopt the practice.

For a full copy of the report, produced by the Workforce Information Council and published in September of 2014, go to  Enhancing Unemployment Insurance Wage Records – Potential Benefits, Barriers, and Opportunities.

Additional research findings from the report suggest if the data elements are collected administratively through state workforce agencies, many other state and federal surveys  – considered by some employers as expensive and burdensome  – could be eliminated. Oftentimes, state and federal surveys also do not have enough sample to obtain robust findings at the local community, city, county or in some cases the state level.

— Bob Uhlenkott, chief research officer, Bob.Uhlenkott@labor.idaho.gov
Idaho Department of Labor