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Washington’s average wage tops $50,000 in 2012

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.

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