Washington’s average annual wage had its largest year-over-year jump in 20 years in 2019.
The average annual wage climbed 6.7% in 2019 to $69,000, according to numbers released this week from the state Employment Security Department.
The largest increases were in transportation and warehousing, which saw wages grow 7.1%; information, with a 6.5% jump; and educational services, up 6.4%, the data said.
Average weekly wages grew from $1,255 in 2018 to $1,340 in 2019, the state said. A breakdown for individual counties was not yet available.
The figures only reflect wages covered by unemployment insurance.
The average annual wage is used to calculate unemployment benefits for those out of work. It also is used in determining employers’ unemployment taxes.
The minimum weekly unemployment benefit, calculated at 15% of the average weekly wage, will increase by $13 to $201, for new claims opened on or after July 5, according to ESD. The maximum weekly benefit will increase by $54 to $844.
Starting next year, employers will pay taxes on the first $56,600 paid to each employee. That’s an increase from $52,700 this year.