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Believe it or not: average annual wage in Washington state rises in 2013

The state’s average annual wage rose by 2 percent last year to $52,635, according to data released by the state Employment Security Department.

The average weekly wage rose to $1,012 from $992.

Both were pushed higher by a 6.5 percent increase in the number of workers earning more than $75,000.

Here are the three industries with the highest wage growth in 2013:

-Company management rose 11.7 percent.

-Arts, entertainment and recreation rose 11.1 percent.

-Retail trade rose 8.7 percent.

A rise in wages also means that jobless benefits will increase. The minimum weekly jobless benefit will rise $3 to $151, while the maximum benefit will rise $13 to $637. The increase applies to unemployment claims opened on or after July 6.

About 12 percent of current jobless claims pay the maximum amount and eight percent pay the minimum amount.

Employer unemployment taxes also will increase as a result of the bump in wages. Employers will pay unemployment taxes on the first $42,100 paid to each employee in 2015, up from $41,300 in 2014.

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