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Christie administration to render unemployment trust fund solvent next week

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Gov. Chris Christie announced today that his administration would be bringing the state's unemployment trust fund into solvency by the end of next week.

It's a move he said will save employers $211 million by sparing them from "drastic tax increases" under the Federal Unemployment Insurance Tax Act.

The administration claims that between its reforms in antifraud measures, misconduct standards, debit card and direct deposit use, and implementation of the Federal Treasury Offset Program, the state was able to better the status of the trust fund and save employers from a tax increase needed to replenish it.

"We have managed to get a very important safety net for our workers solvent well before anyone thought possible," Christie said in a release. "We've accomplished this without imposing disastrous annual tax increases on the very same businesses we are relying upon to improve the prosperity of our economy and continue delivering jobs to our state."

Governors in both parties had raided the fund for decades, to the tune of more than $4.5 billion — a problem exacerbated by the 2008 recession, which forced New Jersey to borrow federal funds to make benefit payments to the many suddenly out-of-work residents. Christie's administration now expects the trust fund to post a positive balance come November.

By the state meeting federal obligations for its employers to be spared the FUTA tax increase, the administrations said the FUTA tax rate will drop to "pre-deficit levels for employers."

Andrew George

Andrew George

Andrew George covers the Statehouse from NJBIZ's Trenton bureau. Born and raised in N.J., Andrew has also spent time as a reporter in D.C., Texas and Pa. His email is andrewg@njbiz.com and he is @AndrGeorge on Twitter.

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