About the Division of Employment Security
The Division of Employment Security collects tax contributions from employers and pays unemployment benefits to individuals who are determined eligible under the law. State unemployment contributions paid by Missouri employers into the Missouri Trust Fund are set aside for the sole purpose of providing for the payment of weekly unemployment benefits to qualified claimants. The unemployment benefits paid to insured workers help to maintain the economy of the state during periods of economic downturn by helping preserve the level of consumer purchasing power.
The Division of Employment Security (DES) is the state agency responsible for the administration of the unemployment insurance (UI) benefit and tax program. The DES has responsibility to both workers and employers.
The DES strives to administer the employer tax provisions of the law equitably in accordance with the intent of the General Assembly of the State of Missouri. An effort is made to tax employers as little as possible while at the same time providing essential (UI) benefits to workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own and who are able, available, and actively seeking work.
The Missouri Employment Security Laws must conform to certain standards in the Federal Unemployment Tax Law administered by the U.S. Department of Labor. By conforming to this law, Missouri employers are allowed to take a credit on federal unemployment tax returns if state unemployment taxes are paid timely. This credit is allowed regardless of an employer’s state tax rate.
In Missouri, unemployment taxes are paid entirely by employers who are liable under the Missouri Employment Security Law, found at Chapter 288 of the Missouri Revised Statutes. No deductions are made from the workers’ wages.
Wage information and other confidential UI information may be requested and utilized for other governmental purposes including, but not limited to, verification of an individual’s eligibility for other government programs.
About the Director
Ken Jacob was appointed to serve as the acting director of the Division of Employment Security in March 2013. Prior to this appointment, Jacob served in the Missouri Legislature, both in the House and Senate, ran state programs for youth non-for-profit organizations, and was the Chair of the Labor and Industrial Relations Commission in 2004.
Jacob earned two bachelor’s degrees (economics and history), two master’s degrees (public administration, educational counseling and personnel management), and his law degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia.
Jacob has two grown children, Jessica, who resides in California, and Daniel, who currently works as an assistant attorney general in Jefferson City.