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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Average pay in Washington up 3.4 percent

The Spokesman-Review
The average annual wage in Washington grew by 3.4 percent in 2008, to $46,256, the state Employment Security Department reported today. The increase equals $1,535. In 2007, the average wage grew by 5 percent compared to 2006. Average annual wage is used to compute unemployment-insurance benefits for jobless workers, among other things. Minimum and maximum unemployment benefits will go up for new claims beginning next month. The minimum weekly unemployment benefit, calculated at 15 percent of the average weekly wage of $889, will increase to $133 for new claims starting July 5. The maximum weekly benefit, calculated at 63 percent of the average weekly wage of $890, will increase to $560. The figures do not include temporary benefit increases now in effect under state and federal stimulus packages. With the temporary stimulus increases, the minimum benefit in Washington for most claimants will be $225 and the maximum will be $630 for claims opened in July through the end of the year. Currently, about 25 percent of claimants receive the maximum benefit amount and 6 percent receive the minimum. Average annual wage also is used in computing employers’ unemployment taxes, and is used by the Department of Labor & Industries to calculate workers’ compensation benefits.
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