Average wage in Washington rises to more than $65,000 per year

Workers in Washington are making more money, according to the state's Employment Security Department. 

New numbers released Wednesday show Washington’s average annual wage grew by 5.5 percent in 2018 to $65,301*. Comparatively, Idaho's average annual wage was $43,480 as of May 2018, according to the Idaho Dept. of Labor.

Washington's new statistics represent the largest percentage increase year over year since 2006. The average worker in Washington made $1,255 per week in 2018.

The annual wage figures are used by the Employment Security Department to calculate unemployment benefits for jobless workers in Washington. With the new numbers, the minimum weekly unemployment benefit-- which is 15 percent of the average weekly wage-- will increase to $188 after July 1. The maximum weekly benefit-- which is 63 percent of the average weekly wage-- will increase to $790. 

Currently, the ESD office said about 20 percent of unemployment insurance claims are paid the maximum benefit amount, and 10 percent receive the minimum.

The industries with the largest average wage growth in 2018 were retail trade, up 16.9 percent, and information, up 13.1 percent.

*Figures only include wages that are covered by unemployment insurance.

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