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Important Information Regarding Federal Unemployment Benefits in Tennessee. Click Banner for Details.

UI Tax Rates

Unemployment Insurance Tax Rates

Variable Taxable Wage Base 

Tennessee’s unemployment insurance taxable wage base varies based on the balance in the Unemployment Trust Fund. The Taxable Wage Base in effect for the calendar year is listed below.

Calendar Year Taxable Wage Base  
2021 $7,000  
2020 $7,000  
2019 $7,000  
2018 $7,000  
2017 $8,000  
2016 $8,000  
2015 $9,000  
2014 $9,000  

Factors Affecting Your Premium Rate

Tennessee is one of 31 states that use the reserve-ratio formula to determine employer premium rates.  

The reserve ratio is the balance in an employer’s UI account (premiums paid less benefits paid for all years liable) divided by their average taxable payroll for the three most recent years. 

The reserve ratio is calculated annually as a measure of the employer’s potential liability for benefits.  The employer Premium Rate Chart is then used to convert the reserve-ratio to a premium rate. A higher reserve ratio generally means a lower unemployment insurance premium rate. The employer’s reserve ratio is effective for a four quarter unemployment insurance tax year beginning each July 1.

Why Did the Applicable Tax Table Change? 

The balance found in the unemployment insurance Trust Fund on June 30 and December 31 of each year determines which one of six premium rate tables will be applicable for the following six-month period.
The premium rate charts and fund trigger dates are provided under T.C.A. 50-7-403.

Determination of Rate Table in Effect

The balance of the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund on June 30 and December 31 determines which of six Premium Rate Charts shall be used to determine Premium Rates for the following six month period. The grid below shows which Premium Rate Table was in effect for the specified period.


Period Rate Table  
July 1, 2021 6  
January 1, 2021 6  
July 1, 2020 6  
January 1, 2020 6  
July 1, 2019 6  
January 1, 2019 6  
July 1, 2018 6  
January 1, 2018 6  
July 1, 2017 6  
January 1, 2017 6  
July 1, 2016 6  
January 1, 2016 6  
July 1, 2015 6  
January 1, 2015 5  
July 1, 2014 6