Skip to content Back to Top

Employment Security Tax Handbook

How did Employment Security get its start?

In October 1929, a plummeting stock market plunged America into a financial disaster that has been remembered ever since as “The Great Depression.”  Left in its wake was an economic wasteland that offered no market for goods and no buying power.  Industry closed its doors, businesses went broke, and hundreds of thousands of people were out of work, with little or no prospect for employment or income.

In response to this crisis, the U.S. government crafted a pair of laws to provide remedial and preventative action. The Wagner-Peyser Act, signed into law in 1933, established employment offices throughout the country. The Alaska Employment Security Division is one of these offices.  The Social Security Act, passed in 1935, established the laws that created unemployment insurance.  This insurance is an efficient way to maintain economic stability, especially in areas where workers are laid off and employment is scarce.

Alaska Employment Security Tax Handbook