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In 2023, Washington’s Average Wage Will Go Up by 5.9%


OLYMPIA – The Employment Security Department of the state of Washington says that the average yearly wage rose by 5.9% to $89,138 in 2023.

It went up by more than 2% in 2022, but not as much in 2023.

The average annual wage is used by Employment Security to:

  • Help with finding work for people who file new claims on or after July 7, 2024.
  • Paid medical and family leave for new claims made on or after January 1, 2025.
  • From January 1, 2025, employers will have to pay jobless taxes.
  • The average yearly wage is also used by the State Department of Labor and Industries to figure out workers’ compensation payments.

There are only wages that are counted for unemployment insurance (UI) in the average annual wage and average weekly pay.

Average wage per week

It went up from $1,618 a week in 2022 to $1,714 a week in 2023. A 2.5% rise in jobs and an 8.5% rise in total wages and bonuses, which added up to an extra $24.6 billion in 2023, caused the rise.

Help with unemployment

This means that more workers in Washington got UI. In 2023, 3,520,247 workers were covered, up from 3,435,848 workers in 2022.

For new claims made on or after July 7, 2024, the minimum weekly jobless benefit will go up by $19 to $342. 20% of the average weekly wage is used to figure out the minimum amount of benefits.

Because of changes to the law (SB 5061), the figure is different for claimants whose weekly benefit amount is less than 20% of the average weekly wage. The amount of money they get each week will be equal to their average weekly wage, up to $323.

The biggest weekly income will go up by $60, to $1,079. The amount used to figure it out is either $496 or 63% of the average weekly wage.

Benefits of paid leave

For new claims made on or after January 1, 2025, the most you can get each week in paid leave will be $1,542, based on a weekly wage of $1,714 in 2023. This benefit will stay at its current level of $100 per week for minimum paid leave.

Employers’ taxes on jobless

The taxable wage base is the most that companies have to pay in taxes for each worker. Washington’s jobless insurance system is based on work history. Most of the time, an employer’s tax rate is based on how many employees they have and how much unemployment payments their former employees get.

From 2025 on, companies will have to pay unemployment taxes on the first $72,800 each worker earns. This is an increase from 2024, when they only had to pay taxes on $68,500.

Businesses usually get their UI tax rate figured out and mailed to them in December of every year.

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