Report: Washington’s average annual wage increased in 2005

The average annual wage in Washington state increased by 3.5 percent to $40,385 in 2005, according to the Employment Security Department.

The average wage is used to compute weekly unemployment-insurance benefits for jobless workers. The minimum weekly unemployment benefit, calculated at 15 percent of the average weekly wage of $776, will increase from $112 to $116 starting July 1. The maximum weekly benefit has been capped by the Legislature at $496.

The average annual wage also is used to compute employer taxes. The calculation is based on average wages for three years. Beginning January 1, 2007, employers will pay unemployment taxes on the first $31,400 paid to each employee.

NOTE: An earlier version of this release indicated an average weekly wage of $476. That figure has been corrected to $776, according to the Employment Security Department.