Washington’s average wage tops $50K for first time

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.

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.

The average weekly wage rose from $959 to $992.

These figures include only those wages that are covered by unemployment insurance.

Much of the increase was driven by a 6.1 percent increase in the number of insured workers earning more than $75,000. Overall, the average number of workers in Washington covered by unemployment insurance grew by 52,519 in 2012, an increase of 1.9 percent, and total earnings grew by nearly $7.4 billion, an increase of 5.4 percent.  

The three industries with the highest wage growth in 2012 were the company management sector, up 17.6 percent; information, up 11.5 percent; and agriculture, up 11.5 percent.

The pattern was similar to 2011, when the company management sector and the information sector also were in the top three for wage growth.

The average annual wage is used to calculate unemployment benefits for jobless workers. The minimum weekly unemployment benefit, calculated at 15 percent of the average weekly wage, will increase by $5 to $148, for new claims opened on or after July 7. At the same time, the maximum weekly benefit, calculated at 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.

In addition to unemployment benefits, the average annual wage is used in computing employers’ unemployment taxes. Beginning in 2014, employers will pay unemployment taxes on the first $41,300 paid to each employee, up from $39,800 in 2013. 

The state average wage also is used by the Department of Labor & Industries in calculating worker’s compensation benefits.

More in Business

Former Tully’s locations spring back to life

Following the coffee chain’s collapse earlier this year, other Eastside businesses are moving in.

Self-driving car conference on Sept. 19

Tickets can be found online at transpogroup.com/avconference.html

Barrels wine bar set to open June 20 in Mercer Island

Joe and Tina Kennedy are hoping to open a new wine bar on the island soon.

Sound Publishing appoints new president and vice president

Josh O’Connor is the new president and publisher while Terry Ward is the new vice president.

Seattle head tax worries Eastside business organizations

Seattle has passed a head tax to help fund homelessness services.

Office space is tight all across the Eastside

The Broderick Group released a report detailing low office vacancy rates across Eastside cities.

Global luxury real estate brand opens on Mercer Island

Aviation and yacht services are part of Hamburg giant Engel & Völkers’ unique concierge service.

Mercer Island’s Auto Spa welcomes new owner

Suzanne Skone recently sold the business to Brandon Santos, who has managed it since 2006.

Club Pilates plans spring opening on Mercer Island

The company has over 300 locations, and is opening a new one on the Island soon.

“Shop and Dine Local” and support MIYFS on Feb. 7-8

More than a dozen Mercer Island businesses will donate proceeds for the annual fundraising event.

Top broker team joins Coldwell Banker Bain on Mercer Island

Ken Urman and Courtney Emanuels have joined the office.