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SOC code reporting required

In 2019, the Washington State Legislature passed a law requiring employers to report SOC codes or job titles in their quarterly reports for unemployment insurance.

Both taxable and reimbursable employers need to report SOC codes or job titles.

Reporting SOC codes does not affect your tax rates.

Provide a SOC code or job title for each employee in your unemployment insurance tax reports. Otherwise, there may be a penalty. This starts with reports filed for Q1 2024. These are due April 30, 2024.

What are SOC codes?

SOC stands for Standard Occupational Classification. It’s a federal coding system that helps government agencies and private businesses compare occupational data.

This data is used by:

  • Government program managers.
  • Industry and labor relations specialists.
  • Students considering career training.
  • Job seekers.
  • Vocational training schools.
  • Employers wishing to set salaries or locate a new business.

SOC codes are not the same as codes you submit to the state Department of Labor & Industries (L&I). Go to the L&I website for information about their risk classification codes.


View a previously recorded webinar


Webinar slide deck

Webinar recording - From Dec. 14, 2022

About SOC code required reporting

This video shows how to add SOC codes in Employer Account Management System (EAMS). Although the video title says it’s for single filers only, all filers can enter SOC codes in EAMS. 



  • You do not need to re-enter SOC codes every quarter. Locked services access will let you copy a prior quarter’s filing. Then you should:
    • Add codes for new employees.
    • Update codes for any employees who changed occupations from the previous quarter.
  • Enter only the first 6 numbers of the SOC code. Do not include a decimal or decimal number. You do not need to include the hyphen.

  • Valid SOC codes do not end in a zero. ESD accepts only SOC codes that end in a 1 through 9.
  • SOC codes cannot be amended once filed. If you need to change SOC code, make that change in your next quarterly filing. 

  • You only need to include SOC codes when you submit your quarterly tax report. You do not need to submit an additional report with SOC codes.

  • If your employees’ wages are exempt from being reported on quarterly tax and wage reports, you do not need to report their SOC codes. Exempt employees include corporate officers, sole proprietors, commission-only sales, and more. Learn more.
  • If an employee performs multiple job functions or has multiple duties, report the code for the occupation that requires the highest level of skill or education. If the skill levels are the same, report the occupation in which the employee spends the most time. Read guidelines from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • If employees change jobs during the quarter because of transfers, promotions, demotions or reclassifications, report the code for their last occupation. Read guidelines from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Questions about SOC code reporting? Contact socreporting@esd.wa.gov.