Analysis: Idaho Jobless Rate May Be Impressive But Wages Remain Stagnant 

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On the same day that the Idaho Department of Labor reported that the Gem State's unemployment rate remained at or below 3 percent for the 14th consecutive month, an analysis from the Idaho Center for Fiscal Policy concluded that the state's job growth "has failed to bring Idaho wages in line with the nation."

Labor Department officials said November 16 that the state's payrolls increased by 853 workers in October, totaling 830,616 while the number of unemployed people decreased by 454 to 22,828. Construction, education and health services, government, natural resources and professional and business sectors all experienced greater-than-expected changes, according the labor department.

But the nonpartisan, independent nonprofit Idaho Center for Fiscal Policy pushed back against the job numbers, particular when examining wages.

"We're seeing Idaho get left behind," said ICFP Policy Analyst Sasha Pierson. "Wages across the country have risen by more than 21 percent since 1977 while Idaho wages have barely moved."

The analysis said Idaho's relatively low cost of living makes only a small dent in the problem.

"Each dollar stretches about 7 percent further [in Idaho], but this still leaves Idaho wages more than 20 percent lower than the national average," read the ICFP report, which you can read below.
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