The state trust fund that pays for jobless benefits is expected to run dry this week. That will force Arizona to borrow money from the federal government until unemployment subsides.
The Arizona Department of Economic Security anticipates that it will borrow $250 million from the U.S. Treasury in 2010 to continue paying unemployment benefits.
The money comes interest-free through the end of the year. Congress will decide by then if it wants to extend the zero-interest rate into 2011. Arizona likely will have to borrow money again in 2011 and possibly in 2012.
The trust fund is made up of unemployment insurance taxes paid by Arizona employers. By law, that tax increases as the fund’s solvency decreases.