If I’m working 25 hours a week because of slow season at work, who pays for unemployment benefits if I were to apply?
If you are collecting unemployment benefits for lost wages, then the taxpayers would be covering the difference between what you were getting paid versus what you’re now getting paid, depending on how your state issues unemployment benefits.
In PA, I would contribute to “unemployment insurance” with each month’s paycheck. This goes into a fund, so that if you were to become unemploymed or you lose hours, the state would essentially return your money. If the fund does not have enough money from everyone, then the state will have to use its reserves. This comes from state income tax, gaming taxes, tobacco/alcohol/sales taxes, etc
Employers notionally fund unemployment insurance by paying a fee / tax to the state for every employee they have. In California, that tax is adjusted according to how many employees are fired from a company – lots of fires = higher taxes to pay for them. In theory. In practice, of course, UI is backed up by the state’s general fund. After all, depending on bad companies to fund it has no chance of working.
Correct me if I’m wrong but your employer can refuse to pay the extra payroll tax (they aren’t laying you off or anything), and this will mean you can’t get unemployment benefits (soon after you file for unemployment, a letter is sent in the mail asking for their approval).