Payroll Taxes

​​Employer payroll taxes are placed in Oregon’s  UI Trust Fund at the U.S. Treasury. This fund can only be used to pay unemployment insurance benefits. It provides unemployment insurance benefits to workers who are out of work through no fault of their own.  

Our trust fund is one of the healthiest in the  nation, thanks to its self-balancing tax system. It was designed to have enough reserves to  cover 18 months of benefits during a recession. In the last decade, one-fifth of the trust fund’s  increased revenue has come from earned  interest. Even after paying approximately $1.7  billion in regular unemployment benefits since March, our trust fund has a reserve of  $4.1 billion.  

Oregon’s Self-Adjusting Tax Rate Schedules

Even after paying approximately $1.8 billion in regular unemployment insurance benefits since March, Oregon’s Trust Fund, which kept Oregon solvent through the Great Recession and is on track to remain solvent through the current recession, is one of the healthiest in the nation. This is due to the tax formula used to fund it. Oregon’s tax structure is self-balancing, with two major parts:

  1. Movement between eight tax schedules: When the tax schedule changes, all employers move to that tax schedule.

  2. How an employer is assigned a tax rate within a schedule: Individual employer tax rates depend on their ‘experience rating’ or benefit ratio, which measures the rate at which their employees have received UI benefits.

Our Unemployment Insurance Fact Sheet​​ and FAQs have more information on our Trust Fund and employer payroll taxes.

What is the 2021 tax rate?

Unemployment tax rates for employers subject to Oregon payroll tax will move to tax schedule four for the 2021 calendar year. Despite facing the highest unemployment rate in Oregon’s history, the 2021 payroll tax schedule is a modest shift from the 2020 tax schedule, with an average rate of 2.26 percent on the first $43,800 paid to each employee. 


The Oregon Employment Department mailed notifications to businesses regarding their individual tax rates and encourages employers to wait until they receive their individual notice before attempting to contact the department with questions. Any employer who has not received their notice by Nov. 20, 2020, can email or call 503-947-1488. Due to the projected high call volume, we encourage employers to contact us by email. 


​Unemployment Insurance Tax

Oregon Employment Department
875 Union St. NE 
Salem, OR 97311

Hours of Operation

8:00 AM  - 5:00 PM


Phone: 503-947-1488, option #2
Fax: 503-947-1487

TTY: 7-1-1
Internet Relay: Sprint Relay Online