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The Nov. 8 News article outlining the pending but unavoidable bad news for employers in New York State, "$150 million tax hit uncovered: Businesses face hike in unemployment fees," correctly casts the costly details of a silent drain on the bottom line of employers of every size.

Regrettably, however, the spokesman for the state's Department of Labor failed to recognize the consistent work of the Retail Council of New York State on this issue on behalf of its members. We've been working closely with the department for many years to find a solution to what is now an emergency. We recognized the gathering clouds long ago and were open to discussing any recommended remedies that could have staved off the costly realities now foisted upon the state's employers.

We have found it difficult to energize people about unemployment insurance, especially without vocal allies joining the fight.

More important than the lack of acknowledgment from the Department of Labor is the now urgent need to address the unemployment insurance deficit that will cost Erie County retailers and other employers millions in extra taxes. The Retail Council will continue its work and welcomes others to the effort.

James R. Sherin

President and CEO

Retail Council of New York State

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