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Maryland's unemployment insurance rate unchanged for 2017

The unemployment insurance rate paid by Maryland employers will remain largely unchanged in 2017, Gov. Larry Hogan announced Wednesday.

The announcement means what employers pay into the unemployment benefits pool stays at its lowest legal level for the coming year.

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The rates will range from 0.3 percent to 7.5 percent of employee pay in 2017. The rate for new employers in 2.6 percent. One change is that the rate for new construction employers headquartered in another state drops to 6.6 percent.

Most Maryland employers pay the minimum tax rate, so many will continue to pay $25.50 per employee per year.

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The Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation was able to extend the existing rates due to declining unemployment and, consequently, lower unemployment benefit payments, according to the governor's announcement.

"Growing Maryland's economy is our administration's number one priority," Hogan said in a statement. "By improving our state's business climate, employers are able to benefit from a continued low unemployment insurance tax rate, which allows them to create even more jobs and opportunities for our hard working citizens."

According to the latest federal report, Maryland's unemployment rate is at an eight-year low of 4.2 percent.

Unemployment benefits paid statewide dropped nearly $80 million between the state's 2015 fiscal year and fiscal year 2016. Maryland's Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund stood at nearly $1.1 billion as of Sept. 30.

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