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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 Weekly Wages On The Rise, Still Lag Nationally

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Weekly wages in Idaho’s private sector are on the rise, according to a recent report out by the state’s Department of Labor.

Weekly earnings have increased by $30 from the second quarter of 2015 to the second quarter of this year, according to the report.

The 4.2 percent growth rate that’s pushed the weekly wage up to 743 dollars is double the national average. Robust growth like that puts Idaho in fourth place nationally for over-the-year wage growth.

Washington State leads for growth coming in at nearly 6 percent. Second and third place New Hampshire and Oregon have 4.4 and 4.3 percent growth respectively.

The report finds nearly all industries in Idaho saw pay increases over the last year with weekly wages in retail specifically going up 10 percent. The Gem State’s wages have gone up by 9.4 percent over the last three years. Despite the increase, Idaho’s average weekly wage is paltry when compared to national averages -- the state ranks 48 of 50.

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