Washington’s average annual wage grew by 3.4 percent in 2012, to $51,595, surpassing $50,000 for the first time, according to the state Employment Security Department.
These figures include only those wages that are covered by unemployment insurance.
The average weekly wage rose from $959 to $992. With this increase, the wages for those on unemployment also rise.
The average annual wage is used to calculate unemployment benefits for jobless workers. The minimum weekly unemployment benefit, 15 percent of the average weekly wage, will increase by $5 to $148, for new claims opened on or after July 7. The maximum weekly benefit, 63 percent of the average weekly wage, will increase by $20, to $624.
Currently, about 18 percent of unemployment-insurance claims are paid the maximum benefit amount, and 7 percent receive the minimum.
Overall, the average number of workers in Washington covered by unemployment insurance grew, and total earnings grew by nearly $7.4 billion.
Beginning in 2014, employers will pay unemployment taxes on the first $41,300 paid to each employee, up from $39,800 in 2013.