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The share of Idaho workers earning minimum wage has grown from 5 percent in 2011 to 7.7 percent in 2012. The growth has put Idaho in the top spot for the largest share of minimum wage workers in the country. How did that happen? And what’s being done to reverse the trend?

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

money, wages
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.

Montana’s minimum wage will also go up to $7.90 an hour. Also in the West, Arizona and Colorado are raising their minimum wages Wednesday. California's wage goes up to $9.00 later in 2014.

Idaho has the highest percentage of minimum wage workers in the nation, but their pay will remain at the federal minimum of $7.25 an hour. Utah will be our only neighbor at that rate. Nevada is a $1 higher and Wyoming is more than $2 below the federal minimum.

The advocacy group, RaiseIdaho, is trying to put a minimum wage increase on Idaho's ballot. It needs more than 50,000 signatures to put a proposal on the November ballot.

Copyright 2013 Boise State Public Radio