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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?

Idaho's Per Capita Income Goes Up, But Still Ranks 47th Nationally

Construction Worker
Molly Messick
StateImpact Idaho

Idaho workers saw the largest per capita income increase in the country in 2013, according to data recently released by the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis. The 2.4 percent increase was substantially higher than 0.1 percent increase seen nationally.

Still, Idaho ranked 47th in the country in per capita personal income earnings. That figure - $36,340 - was about $900 more than the previous year when Idaho ranked 49th in the nation. The state labor department says construction wage increases drove Idaho's wage growth.

According to department economists, a percentage of Idaho’s gains can be attributed to the state’s construction industry which grew at 7.3 percent in 2013, more than twice the rate of Idaho’s overall economic growth rate of 3.6 percent. In 2013 the median construction industry pay was $17.17 per hour, 17 percent higher than the overall median wage of $14.68. Construction typically offers above average wages to workers who have made relatively little investment in education and training. - Idaho Department of Labor

The 2013 data is the most recent available.

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