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February 18, 2022

West Virginia 2022 SUI wage base is decreased, SUI tax rates remain unchanged from 2021

On February 17, 2022, Workforce West Virginia announced that the 2022 state unemployment insurance (SUI) taxable wage base will decrease from $12,000 to $9,000. (Telephone conversation, Workforce West Virginia, 2-18-2022.)

Under current law, the wage base is lowered from $12,000 to $9,000 if the state's unemployment trust fund is at least $220 million on February 15 of any year. As of February 15, 2022, the amount in the unemployment fund exceeded $220 million, therefore triggering the decrease in the wage base for 2022. W. Va. Code § 21A-1A-28; Code of State Rules § 83-1-7.1; Workforce West Virginia email notice to taxable employers, 2-17-2022.)

2022 SUI tax rates

The West Virginia SUI tax rates for 2022 will continue to range from 1.5% to 8.5% based on the highest UI rate schedule per law. Negative-balanced employers will see an additional 1.0% surtax, with total rates ranging from 6.5% to 8.5%, including the surtax.

Most new employers will continue to pay at the rate of 2.7%, with the exception being foreign contractors which will pay at 8.5%. (Email response to inquiry, representative, Workforce West Virginia; Handbook for Employers, p.16,18.)

2022 mailing of SUI rate notices

The 2022 SUI rate notices were mailed on 12-10-2021.

In 2021, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice announced that the state's federal unemployment insurance (UI) loan was repaid in full using federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. According to the governor's news release, the federal loan balance before repayment was $185 million. Additionally, the state was able to add $220 million to the state's UI trust fund lowering employer SUI tax costs a predicted 25% in 2022.


Contact Information
For additional information concerning this Alert, please contact:
Workforce Tax Services - Employment Tax Advisory Services
   • Kristie Lowery (
   • Kenneth Hausser (
   • Debera Salam (


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