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Washington and U.S. average wages

Average wages

Inflation-adjusted to 2016 dollars

Year Washington U.S.
2016 $58,977 $53,870
2015 $57,752 $53,833
2014 $56,640 $52,790
2013 $55,603 $52,163
2012 $55,516 $52,457
2011 $55,110 $52,097
2010 $54,298 $51,726
2009 $53,497 $50,845
2008 $52,929 $51,267
2007 $52,780 $50,975
2006 $51,499 $50,112
2005 $50,514 $49,375
2004 $50,589 $49,223
2003 $50,496 $48,468
2002 $50,479 $47,971
2001 $50,283 $47,951
2000 $51,082 $47,694
1999 $50,255 $46,020
1998 $47,425 $44,699
1997 $44,579 $42,941
1996 $42,595 $41,706

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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 8th among the states in average wages in 2016.

Data source:

Last modified: January 14, 2018
E-mail: OFM.Forecasting@ofm.wa.gov