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IDES lowers unemployment taxes for seventh straight year - Nearly 300,000 business owners to pay lower payroll taxes in 2019

11/5/18 - The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) today announced the regular unemployment rates for 2019 will be lower for more than 92 percent of the state’s employers who are required to register and pay state Unemployment Insurance (UI) taxes. 

Illinois business owners are on target to pay $1.9 billion in UI taxes in 2018 and will pay $1.66 billion in 2019, an estimated $240 million decrease. In 2012, Illinois businesses paid $3.36 billion in UI taxes, which means the state has lowered the tax by 50.6 percent over the last seven years.  

“The cost of doing business in Illinois has continued to decline for the vast majority of employers when it comes to Unemployment Insurance,” said IDES Director Jeff Mays. “Even as our tax rates have been consistently dropping, our UI Trust Fund balance will close out the year at a near-record high of $1.9 billion even as we have paid off $930 million in bonds.” 

Two Agencies Unite for a Better Illinois

10/31/18 - In 2015, the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) wanted to replace its unemployment insurance tax systems with one modern system. Ten years prior and 200 miles away, the Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR) had implemented a new tax system. From July 2016 to September 2017, IDES, IDOR and IDOIT worked with Fast Enterprises to add IDES’s unemployment insurance tax to IDOR’s existing GenTax implementation, replacing five IDES legacy systems and upgrading to the latest version of GenTax.

NASCIO Recognizes Illinois for Outstanding Accomplishments in IT

​10/26/18 - The National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) announced the state of Illinois’ unemployment insurance tax modernization project as the winner for the Digital Government: Government to Business category as part of their 2018 State IT Recognition Awards​. 

In addition, Illinois was selected as a finalist in two other award categories including the Illinois Blockchain Initiative for Emerging & Innovative Technologies and Illinois’ Security Operations Center for Cybersecurity. There were 31 finalists in 10 categories that NASCIO recognizes for outstanding achievement in State IT.

IDES Accomplishments

8/29/18 - Eight million touches. That’s how many times the Illinois Department of E​mployment Security (IDES) interacts with Illinois’ residents and employers each year. These touches happen in many ways. Hundreds of thousands of touches come from Illinois workers who have been laid off from a job when they seek Unemployment In​surance financial assistance. Hundreds of thousands of touches come from employers when they file taxes or request tax refunds. Tens of thousands of touches come from unemployed workers and veterans seeking employment guidance or to reconnect with the workforce. The review that follows seeks to capture the scope and breadth of change that IDES employees have endeavored to make since January 2015 to improve every touch. This review is not in any sense a “Mission Accomplished” victory lap, because we know we still don’t get all the touches right. Rather, it is simply the most current chapter in IDES’ journal of service to Illinois.

But the beginning of this chapter must start with a thank you to Governor Rauner and his staff for their unwavering support; to the Legislature and their staff for their guidance and engagement; to the statewide business and labor leaders who, at every quarterly meeting encouraged us to stay the course; and most importantly, to my senior leadership and to the 1100+ employees of IDES from Mt. Vernon to Chicago, Quincy to Danville…they didn’t just embrace and implement the change…they helped envision it.

Certainly, there remain challenges before us. All that we stretched to accomplish is not done. These challenges will form the core of the next chapter. For our part, I believe IDES is very well positioned to move forward.

Jeff Mays, Director

IDES Highlights and Accomplishments
January 2015 - June 2018​