Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Good news: Workers making more as economy bounces back

Wages went up in Washington state last year,according to the state Employment Security Department.
The average wage grew 3.6 percent as our state, and the nation, recovered from the global economic collapse.
This good news comes on the heels of a U.S. Chamber of Commerce report putting Washington in the Top 10 states for creating jobs, with that report stating, “Led by the software industry, Washington is one of the few states with a growing information sector. Washington moved up five places into the top 10 largely due to its rapid short-term job growth over the past two years. The state’s manufacturing sector – led by aircraft and other transportation equipment building – significantly outperformed the national manufacturing industry since 2001. The Evergreen State added another 65,000 jobs in professional, scientific and technical services; 19,000 in securities and commodity contracts and 12,000 in electronic wholesale markets.”
The average wage grew from $48,162 in 2010 to $49,894 in 2011, according to Employment Security. The total number of workers covered by unemployment insurance increased by 37,764 last year while total earnings by workers got boosted by $6.6 billion.
From the release by Employment Security:
“Month to month,we’ve been seeing strong growth in industries that tend to offer above-average pay, and that seems to be reflected in last year’s earnings,” said Employment Security Commissioner Paul Trause.
The three industries with the highest wage growth in 2011 were the information sector,with wage growth of 9.5 percent; company management, up 7.9 percent; and manufacturing, up 5 percent.
The 2011 numbers stood in sharp contrast to 2010, when the 2.1 percent rise in the average annual wage was caused mostly by the loss of low-paying jobs. The number of insured workers declined by nearly 32,000 that year, and wages grew by just $1.2 billion.

To read this story in Spanish, click here.