Trust fund: $4.2 billion, which is 104 percent of the solvency level, and the first time the fund has been solvent in five decades.
But achieved solvency by swapping federal debt, which counts against solvency, for private debt.
Like all states, paid more benefits and collected less taxes during bad times and reversed that in good times, but Michigan’s bad times lasted from 2001 to 2010, draining the trust fund.
Has cut taxes and benefits since the end of the Great Recession, with taxes in 2017 at 0.67 percent of total insured wages, the lowest in five decades.
Average unemployment check was 31 percent of the average paycheck, continuing a downward trend from the early 2000s, and the maximum duration of payments was cut from 26 weeks, which is the standard among most states, to 20 weeks.
Trust fund: $1.6 billion, which is 94 percent of solvency. The fund was last solvent in 2015, following a 45-year stretch of insolvency.
Two recessions of the 2000s depleted the fund. To repay federal debts and replenish the fund, raised taxes to 1.35 percent of wages, the highest in seven decades. In 2017, taxes had fallen to 0.57 percent.
Kept benefit payments at about 42 percent of wages on average for four decades.
Trust fund: $348.5 million, a healthy 151 percent of solvency.
Going into the Great Recession, Montana was one of the few states with solvent funds, and it was one of the few that didn’t need federal loans. The last loans were needed in the early 1980s.
Tax rate spiked to 1.23 percent of insured wages after the recession to replenish the fund but has dropped to 0.62 percent in 2017, the lowest in the history of the Montana unemployment insurance program.
Benefit payments averaged 44 percent of wages in 2017, part of an upward trend since the recession.
Tu-Uyen Tran is the senior writer in the Minneapolis Fed’s Public Affairs department. He specializes in deeply reported, data-driven articles. Before joining the Bank in 2018, Tu-Uyen was an editor and reporter in Fargo, Grand Forks, and Seattle.