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Gov. Henry McMaster and DEW Executive Director William Floyd Announce 2024 Tax Rate Cuts for South Carolina Businesses

November 6, 2023

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Governor Henry McMaster and S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) Executive Director William Floyd have announced that South Carolina’s unemployment insurance (UI) tax rates will decrease or remain the same for all employers in 2024. This is the third year in a row that the agency, the General Assembly, and the Governor have been able to lower UI business taxes thanks to diligent planning and a robust economy. 

“There is no better time to be in business in South Carolina. The state’s leadership has worked hard to make strong financial decisions that maintain a healthy unemployment insurance trust fund which will benefit employers in the coming year,” said Governor Henry McMaster. “With a growing economy, a stable trust fund balance, and lower business tax, South Carolina proves once again that it is the ideal destination for business development and success.”

With a fully solvent and resilient UI Trust Fund balance of nearly $1.6 billion, South Carolina:

  • Set the 2024 tax rates to raise approximately the same level of revenue as 2023 and 2022.
  • Lowered rates for rate classes 2-19 by an average of 6% compared to 2023 levels; rates for classes 1 and 20 are set by statute and do not change from year to year.
  • Will not require any solvency surcharge due to the sufficiently high trust fund balance.

“Strong economic and wage growth have played a crucial role in maintaining our trust fund balance above the required threshold,” said Director Floyd. “Our agency is committed to building the workforce, facilitating job placement, and supporting employers. Our unemployment rate has steadily declined and now matches the low 2.9% rate of February 2020. And we have a record number of people working in South Carolina with one of the fastest growing labor forces in the country.”

DEW conducts an extensive analysis of factors such as the economy, the current state of the UI Trust Fund, projected unemployment rates, and estimated benefit payments and the revenue needed to pay these benefits to determine tax rates.

Although tax rates for most tax classes are lower than their 2023 levels, individual businesses may still move between classes based on their unemployment claim activity. All businesses with charges against their accounts are provided a “charge statement” quarterly to review and have 30 days to protest any charges that they do not believe should be on their account. Tax rate notices will be mailed to businesses on Monday, November 13, but as of Friday, November 3, employers can log into their State Unemployment Insurance Tax System (SUITS) account to see their 2024 tax rate. 

Lower taxes are not the only way that the state is helping businesses. The Statewide Education and Workforce Development Act, passed earlier this year, will improve the state’s responsiveness to industry needs by aligning workforce development activities and providing real-time labor market information and analysis to drive workforce decisions. To provide the best workforce information and analysis possible, employers will begin submitting Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) codes for each employee and the number of hours the employee worked as part of the quarterly wage reports submitted through DEW’s tax system, SUITS.  A SOC code is a statistical standard used to classify workers into the specific category that best matches their job.

This information must be supplied on the 1st quarter 2024 wage reports, due by April 30, 2024. DEW encourages employers to begin entering SOC codes in the fourth quarter of 2023 since that information will be saved in SUITS for future quarters.  

“This data is important to accurately understand the composition or gaps of our state’s current workforce and, looking ahead, better anticipate and meet our employers’ future workforce needs,” said Director Floyd.

Click here to view the 2024 tax rate chart. UI Trust Fund Balance and New Employer Tax Rate Cost (Rate Class 12) historical graphs are also attached to this press release. Members of the press can reach out to with any media inquiries or interview requests.

Visit to learn more about SOC codes.