recently released data
from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of Idahoans earning at or below the federal minimum wage decreased from 7.1 percent to 5.1 percent between 2013 and 2014.
In a press release, the Idaho Department of Labor described the data
as among several signs suggesting that "the state's labor market is tightening and—along with other related market forces—is having an upward pressure on wages."
For example, according to the Occupational Employment Statistics program, Idaho businesses reported paying employees higher wages. Data collected as part of the program indicate that the average hourly wage in 2013 was $18.67 and increased to $19.12 in 2014. The median wage increased during that same period from $14.68 per hour to $14.93 per hour.
The release also includes data pertaining to the gender pay gap: 21,000 Idahoans are earning the federal minimum wage and, of those, 12,000 (or 57 percent) are women. That represents 5.8 percent of all working women paid by the hour in the Gem State, compared to 9,000 (4.4 percent) of men working for hourly wages.