Navigating New Financial Landscapes: 2024 Rate Changes for Washington Businesses


Tracy Niemier, EA

As 2024 unfolds, businesses in Washington State are facing a series of significant rate changes. These updates, essential for financial planning and compliance, affect various aspects of business operations, from payroll processing to family and medical leave premiums. As a trusted partner to many businesses and their owners, VSH is committed to guiding you through these changes. Here’s what you need to know: 


  1. Labor & Industries (L&I) and State Unemployment Insurance (UI) Rates

The L&I and State UI rate notices for 2024 have been released, impacting payroll calculations. As your payroll processor adjusts to these new rates starting January 1, it’s crucial to understand how these changes affect your cost structure and employee compensation. 


  1. Paid Family & Medical Leave Premiums Adjustments

2024 brings adjustments to the Paid Family & Medical Leave Premiums. The total premium rate will decrease to 0.74%, with employers paying 28.57% and employees contributing 71.43%. Businesses with fewer than 50 employees are exempt from paying the employer portion, though they must still collect or cover the employee premium. 


Important Steps for Employers: 

  • Notify employees about the new rate collection starting January 1, 2024. 
  • Collect premiums from employees’ total gross wages up to the Social Security cap, which is $168,600 for 2024. 
  • Ensure timely premium payments – the first quarter premiums are due by the end of April 2024. 


  1. Minimum Wage Increase

Starting January 1, 2024, Washington’s minimum wage will rise to $16.28 per hour, marking a 3.4% increase. This change directly impacts labor costs, especially for businesses employing younger workers, who may be paid at a reduced rate of $13.84 per hour. Certain cities like Seattle, SeaTac, and Tukwila might set higher minimum wages. 


Why These Changes Matter 

These updates are more than just numbers; they reflect a dynamic economic landscape that businesses must navigate. Understanding and incorporating these rate changes into your financial strategies is vital for maintaining compliance, optimizing operations, and ensuring the well-being of your workforce. 


How VSH Can Help 

Navigating these changes can be complex, but you don’t have to do it alone. At VSH, we specialize in providing the growing businesses with tailored accounting solutions and strategic advice. We can assist you with: 

  • Updating payroll systems to reflect new L&I, UI, and minimum wage rates. 
  • Managing the implications of the Paid Family & Medical Leave Premium adjustments. 
  • Strategic planning to accommodate the financial impact of these changes on your business. 


As we enter 2024, being proactive and well-informed about these rate changes is key to a successful year. With VSH by your side, you can confidently navigate these financial landscapes, ensuring your business continues to grow and thrive. 

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