State average annual wage grew by 4.2 percent last year

It may not be growing as fast as Whatcom County home prices, but Washington’s annual average wage grew by 4.2 percent in 2014 — the biggest percentage change since 2007, according to the state Employment Security Department.

The state’s annual average wage increased to $54,829, and the average weekly wage went from $1,012 in 2013 to $1,054 in 2014.

Those figures include only wages for workers covered by unemployment insurance — workers employed by firms that employ eight or more people at least 20 weeks a year.

The average number of workers covered by unemployment insurance grew last year by 62,942 to 2.9 million.

Industries with the largest average wage growth last year were the information sector, up 10.3 percent; arts, entertainment and recreation, up 6.5 percent; and retail trade, up 4.3 percent.

Total earnings grew slower than wages, which could mean income inequality is increasing. Total earnings in the state grew by $9.7 billion in 2014 to $161.5 trillion, a 6.4 percent increase.

Related Stories