Gov. Deval Patrick has signed a bill freezing the state's unemployment insurance rate at current levels. The measure prevents a scheduled rate hike that would have cost businesses in Massachusetts more than $400 million in 2011.
The bill was passed unanimously by the House on Wednesday and by the Senate last week. Business leaders have praised the action.
Without the freeze, Massachusetts employers would see their average per-employee payments jump from $644 to $872 this year, an increase of $228 for each worker.
Patrick said in a statement that the freeze helps put the state in position for continued economic recovery. But he has also called for additional reforms in the unemployment insurance system.
This program aired on February 18, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.