Wages

Wages
4:45 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Idaho's Average Hourly Wage Ticks Up, Doesn't Keep Up With National Growth

Credit 401(K)2013 / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho's average wage increased by almost 20 cents last year. But wage growth isn't keeping up with the national average. 

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Employment Survey finds Idaho's average hourly wage for all jobs was $18.67 last year, that's up 19 cents from 2012. Still, Idaho's average wage was almost 84 percent of the national average, which is $22.33 an hour.  

The survey also found that half of Idaho's hourly employees earned $14.68 or less in 2013. That's a 10 cent increase from 2012. 

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Wages
10:43 am
Mon March 24, 2014

Idaho's Share Of Minimum Wage Workers Declines, Now 2nd Highest In U.S.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports most hourly workers earning at or below the minimum wage work in the service sector, largely in food preparation.
Credit Gorgeoux / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho’s share of minimum wage workers declined 0.6 percent from 2012 to 2013 according to data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The drop means Idaho no longer has the largest share of minimum wage workers in the country; Tennessee has taken Idaho’s spot.

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Idaho Legislature
12:30 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Idaho Senate Approves Pay Raise For Top Elected Officials

Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

A plan to give the governor, secretary of state, treasurer, controller and superintendent of schools 2.5 percent increases next year and each year thereafter has passed the Senate.

The Spokesman-Review reports the Senate voted 30-5 Thursday. The bill now goes to the House.

The bill calls for the attorney general's pay to rise next year to that of district judges, a 16 percent increase.

The lieutenant governor would receive a 19.6 percent increase next year, followed by 2.5 percent annual increases.

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Wages
4:23 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

CBO: Minimum Wage Hike Could Boost Paychecks – And Cut Jobs

Darlene Handy of Baltimore holds up a banner at a rally supporting a pay measure in Maryland. More than 20 states have raised minimum pay rates above the federal level.
Jose Luis Magana AP

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 4:42 pm

Whatever you already believed about raising the federal minimum wage, you now have more ammo for your argument, thanks to a report released Tuesday by the Congressional Budget Office, titled "The Effects of a Minimum-Wage Increase on Employment and Family Income."

Yes, you're right: Raising the wage in steps to $10.10 an hour by 2016 would push employers to cut jobs — about 500,000 of them, says the CBO, the nonpartisan research arm of Congress.

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Idaho Legislature
11:30 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Budget Panel Votes To Hike Idaho State Workers' Pay

Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

About 17,000 Idaho government employees are a step closer to getting a 2 percent raise in fiscal year 2015.

The Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee voted Wednesday to build $11 million more into state worker pay starting next July.

Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter didn't recommend the raises.

But Republican Sen. Dean Cameron of Rupert said the timing was right to direct more money to government salaries for the first time since 2012.

Cameron says the budget panel is simply following recommendations of an employee pay committee.

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Washington Legislature
5:31 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

Washington House Democrats Propose $12 Minimum Wage

File photo of the House Chamber at the Washington state Capitol in Olympia
Cacophony

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 5:33 pm

Washington’s minimum wage would rise to $12 per hour by 2017 under a proposal from Democrats in the state House.

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Idaho Legislature
10:17 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Luna Trims Hopes For Idaho Teacher Pay, Still Wants Hike

Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna trimmed his request for pay hikes for Idaho's public school teachers, but still wants to boost salaries.

Luna spoke to the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee Thursday.

Last year, his original proposal included $42 million for boosting teacher pay in fiscal year 2015.

After Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter this month recommended no additional state funding to boost salaries, however, Luna now hopes his latest plan is a compromise with lawmaker appeal.

It foresees $23 million going to lifting teacher pay.

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Economy
6:00 am
Tue January 14, 2014

New Idaho Labor Chief Says State Needs To Shift Focus To Better Paying Jobs

Idaho Labor Department Director Ken Edmunds works in his Boise office. Edmunds took over the agency's top position in November.
Credit Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

The new head of Idaho's Labor Department says the state needs to shift its focus to better paying jobs that will help grow the state's economy. 

Ken Edmunds is now in his second month as the head of Idaho’s Labor Department. The Twin Falls businessman replaced longtime labor director Roger Madsen in late November.   

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Idaho Legislature
4:32 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Idaho Legislative Panel Backs State Employee Pay Raise

Credit Tax Credits / Flickr Creative Commons

A Republican and Democratic lawmaker panel unanimously backed a proposal for a 2 percent pay increase for Idaho's 17,000 state workers in fiscal year 2015, saying agencies had for too long relied on savings from attrition to boost their employees' checks.

The 18-member Change in Employee Compensation Committee said Friday the pay should be awarded on a merit basis.

Half the increase would be built into ongoing salaries, while the other half would be considered for the year starting in July only.

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Idaho Legislature
4:09 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

State Workers Urge Idaho Legislature To Consider Pay Increases

State workers lamented wages falling further behind their private sector peers and urged a legislative panel to bring their salaries up — or risk losing employees to better-paying endeavors outside Idaho government.

Donna Yule, Idaho Public Employee Association dirctor, urged the Change in Employee Compensation Committee Wednesday to begin a three-year program of raising worker salaries.

Excluding benefits, Yule said, it would cost just over $16 million annually — but the expenditure would buttress morale that's taken a hit since the recession began in 2008.

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Wages
9:39 am
Thu January 2, 2014

Idaho State Employee Pay Nearly 20 Percent Below Market Rate

Credit 401(K)2013 / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho lawmakers will take a look at state employee pay rates this year as they continue to fall behind market rates.

The Spokesman-Review reported Thursday that pay for Idaho employees is about 19 percent below market rates, and that gap has been growing for the last decade.

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Minimum Wage
6:00 am
Tue December 31, 2013

3 Of Idaho’s Neighbors To Raise Minimum Wage, Idaho Stays The Same

Idaho's minimum wage is $7.25 an hour.
Credit Molly Messick / Boise State Public Radio

The minimum wage goes up Wednesday in 13 states. Idaho isn’t one of them, but some of its neighbors are.

Washington and Oregon already have the first and second highest minimum wages in the country at $9.19 and $8.95 respectively. And, effective January 1, the lowest paid workers in Washington must get $9.32 an hour, and $9.10 in Oregon.

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Minimum Wage
12:17 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

Son Of Former McDonald's Worker, Raul Labrador Opposes Minimum Wage Increase

Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) told reporters Monday he's against raising the federal minimum wage.
Credit Gage Skidmore / Flickr Creative Commons

Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, said Monday he's against raising the nation’s minimum wage

During a conference call with reporters, Labrador said he understands why those pushing for pay increases for fast food and retail workers are doing so. But he thinks raising minimum wages will hurt workers instead of helping them.

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Economy
7:45 am
Tue December 3, 2013

Idaho Void Of "Super Zips," State's Most Elite Zip Codes Are Near Boise

Three of Idaho's four most elite Zip codes, shaded in green, are in the Boise-metro area.
Credit Washington Post

A Washington Post analysis of elite Zip codes in the United States shows Idaho doesn’t have a so-called Super Zip. These are high-end neighborhoods where the median annual household income is $120,000 and 7 in 10 adults have a college degree.

The Post analyzed U.S. Census Bureau data and plotted their findings on this interactive map. There are 650 Super Zips in the country, with the largest concentration of wealth and education in Washington, D.C.

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Income
12:22 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

Data: Personal Income Growth Slows In Idaho

Credit Bureau of Economic Analysis

Personal income growth slowed between 2011 and 2012 across Idaho's metro areas. That’s according to data released Thursday by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA).

On average, incomes grew by 4.2 percent across the nation’s metro areas. None of Idaho’s metro areas met or exceeded that average.

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Economy
9:01 am
Thu September 19, 2013

Number Of Uninsured Down, Poverty Rates Stagnant In Northwest

Idaho and Oregon are among the states that have seen a decrease in the number of uninsured.

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Wages
8:54 am
Thu September 19, 2013

Northwest Household Income Flat ... Except In Oregon

RichPT Flickr

Oregon was one of the few states where household earnings went up last year. That's according to a new report out Thursday from the U.S. Census Bureau.

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Cost Of Living
3:32 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

It’s More Expensive To ‘Get By’ In Rural Idaho Than Boise

EPI says it costs $48,720 for a family of three to live in Boise.
Credit ImahinasyonPhotography / Flickr Creative Commons

It costs more to get by in rural Idaho than it does in Boise, the state's population center. That's according to the Economic Policy Institute's family budget calculator.

A family of four living in Boise needs $56,491 per year. A family of four in rural Idaho needs $58,071.

Here's a comparison of what it costs for a family of four, two parents and two children, to live in four different parts of Idaho.

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StateImpact Idaho
4:50 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

New Income Data Show Idaho Is A More Expensive Place To Live Than 19 States

Credit Data: U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis | Chart: Emilie Ritter Saunders

Data released today from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis show personal income in Idaho hasn’t fully rebounded from the recession, though growth has been measured in the last two years.

The personal income data from 2007 through 2011 offers a closer look at real-time incomes in relation to the state-specific cost of goods and services during that same time period.

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StateImpact Idaho
12:16 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

Bottom Rung: Longtime Idaho Economist Stresses Education And Healthcare To Boost Wages

Idaho has the largest percentage of minimum wage jobs in the country. That’s been the jumping off point for StateImpact Idaho’s series examining wages; we’re calling it Bottom Rung.

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