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Washington and U.S. average wages

Average wages

Inflation-adjusted to 2017 dollars

Year Washington U.S.
2017 $61,893 $53,643
2016 $59,989 $54,814
2015 $58,626 $54,675
2014 $57,053 $53,193
2013 $55,835 $52,393
2012 $55,617 $52,559
2011 $55,235 $52,230
2010 $54,671 $52,091
2009 $54,341 $51,644
2008 $53,244 $51,589
2007 $53,619 $51,799
2006 $52,203 $50,812
2005 $51,016 $49,882
2004 $50,896 $49,539
2003 $50,638 $48,629
2002 $50,578 $48,093
2001 $50,279 $47,948
2000 $50,903 $47,527
1999 $50,180 $45,951
1998 $47,381 $44,658
1997 $44,410 $42,779

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  • Washington started the decade of the 1980s in much better economic condition than the U.S. overall.
  • During the 1980s, high-paying jobs were lost as some production was shifted abroad. High real interest rates in the U.S. further depressed the demand for durable goods. Washington average wages were lower than the U.S. average wages during the years 1987-1990.
  • Real average wages started rising again in 1989 as the state benefited from growth in aerospace employment and foreign trade while the U.S. economy was in recession.
  • The fast growth in average wages during the mid- to late 1990s proved to be unsustainable as high-wage, but non-performing Dot-Com firms fell by the wayside.
  • The post 9/11 recession suppressed average wages in the early part of the decade, and significant growth did not resume until 2006.
  • The Great recession resulted in a decline in average wages in 2008 for both Washington and the U.S.
  • Washington state ranked 6th among the states in average wages in 2017.

Data source:

Last modified: May 22, 2019
E-mail: OFM.Forecasting@ofm.wa.gov