Premium Rates

Each year, we determine premium rates for employers based on a number of factors, including the amount of money already paid and unemployment benefit payments made to former employees. Employers must pay annual premiums for each employee's chargeable wages.

The chargeable wage limits are:

  • $13,600 for 2021
  • $13,600 for 2020
  • $13,100 for 2019
  • $12,600 for 2018
  • $12,500 for 2017

Standard Rate for New Employers

New employers begin at a standard rate depending on the type of business activity. For rate year 2021 the rate consists of only the base rate. There are no surcharges in effect for 2021. However, between 2004-2012, the standard rate consisted of three components: a base rate, a solvency surcharge and a surtax. For the years 2013 through 2017 the standard rate consisted of two components: a base rate and a bond principal rate.

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Computed Rate

After an employer has paid wages for a sufficient number of quarters the employer is eligible for a computed rate based on the experience of the business.

The formula for a computed rate is:

Total Premiums Paid in to the account minus Total Benefits Charged to the account divided by the Average Chargeable Payroll. The result of this formula is the percent of excess.

Look for the percent of excess in the left hand column of the rate chart and follow that line to the right across the chart to the column heading "Reserve Ratio .000 -.004". The point of intersection is the base rate for 2021.

(Rates for years prior to 2013 used a different rate chart with columns based on the level of the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund on any June 30.)

Rate Increases

There may be several reasons why your business sees a rate increase.

Some of the common reasons include:

  • The average annual payroll increased.
  • There were new benefit charges to the account.
  • The level of the Unemployment Insurance trust Fund decreased.
  • The business stopped paying wages for a period of time and lost its computed rate.
Claims for Benefits

Premiums are contributions paid by Colorado employers to help protect the economy. We administer these contributions by paying unemployment insurance benefits to persons unemployed through no fault of their own.

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Rate Protest

If you believe there is an error in the figures used to calculate your rate, you may submit a written protest.

Submit A Written Protest


Contact Unemployment Employer Services
303-318-9100 (Denver-metro area)
1-800-480-8299 (outside Denver-metro area)

UI Employer Services
P.O. Box 8789
Denver, CO 80201-8789