Times-News Follows Hundreds of Idahoans Who Commute to Nevada For Better Minimum Wage 

“The transportation is nice, but at the same time, everybody is underpaid in Idaho. That’s what forces us to get jobs in other places … survival. It’s just what you’ve got to do.”

The Director of the Idaho Department of Commerce reminds anyone who listens that Idaho's Magic Valley is booming, and Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter spent a good portion of this year's State of the State Address trumpeting how robust the Magic Valley's economy is.

But a fascinating story in this morning's Twin Falls Times-News follows a number of Magic Valley residents who regularly "escape the area's infamously low wages" by filling six buses bound for Jackpot, Nev., where they find a minimum wage of $8.25 per hour versus Idaho's minimum wage of $7.25.

The Times-News's Joe Cadotte followed a number of Magic Valley residents who hop on an 8:10 a.m. bus to Jackpot seven days a week to work in housekeeping and food services.

According to the report, of Cactus Pete's 580 employees, 311 live in the Magic Valley and the price of a $60 monthly bus pass "makes the commute affordable" for the majority of the workers who are making $11 per hour or less.

“The transportation is nice, but at the same time, everybody is underpaid in Idaho,” Aaron Kennedy, a Cactus Pete housekeeping inspector told the Times-News. “That’s what forces us to get jobs in other places … survival. It’s just what you’ve got to do.”


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