Our business is seasonal, meaning that most of the facilities we run are open from about mid-April to mid-September. Our employees are hired in the spring and then laid off in the early fall.
The unemployment bill is a killer. Everyone we lay off in the fall, whether they intend to work in the winter or not, files for unemployment. Like any insurance, your premiums are based on your actual claims, and as a result our unemployment insurance rates are sky-high.
A few or our employees are actively looking for winter work, and I am OK with their claiming unemployment. However, the vast vast majority of our employees work for the summer and vacation all winter, since working for us really just supplements their retirement pay. I know for a fact that some of those who have claimed unemployment in the past weeks are in Mexico on vacation or on the Colorado River or wherever.
Unemployment agencies are NOT doing their job. By law, in most states, they are not supposed to pay unemployment to people unless they are actively looking for work. Heck, most of our employees, during the winter, are not even in the state that is paying them unemployment - they are down south or even out of the country vacationing. However, I have not found a state agency yet that has any interest in dealing with this fraud.