Bringing the Economy Home


It’s More Expensive To ‘Get By’ In Rural Idaho Than Boise

EPI says it costs $48,720 for a family of three to live in Boise.

ImahinasyonPhotography / Flickr Creative Commons

EPI says it costs $48,720 for a family of three to live in Boise.

It costs more to get by in rural Idaho than it does in Boise, the state’s population center. That’s according to the Economic Policy Institute’s family budget calculator.

A family of four living in Boise needs $56,491 per year. A family of four in rural Idaho needs $58,071.

Here’s a comparison of what it costs for a family of four, two parents and two children, to live in four different parts of Idaho. Continue Reading

The Minimum Wage In Idaho, 75 Years Later

Pres. Franklin Roosevelt broadcasts from the White House in May 1939.


Pres. Franklin Roosevelt broadcasts from the White House in May 1939.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt created the U.S. minimum wage 75 years ago today. On June 25, 1938, Roosevelt signed the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Since the minimum wage was created, it’s been increased federally at least 25 times. At least 18 states have increased the wage above the federal minimum, but not in Idaho.

Idaho’s minimum wage has been at $7.25 since 2009. Continue Reading

Bottom Rung: Idaho Has More Minimum Wage Workers Than 18 States

We know Idaho has the largest percentage of minimum wage workers in the country; 7.7 percent of Idaho’s hourly workforce earns $7.25 or less.

The same data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics also show Idaho has more minimum-wage earners, in raw numbers, than 18 other states. Many of those states have fewer people living in them, but six of the states have larger populations.

Connecticut, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington, and West Virginia all have more people than Idaho, but fewer people making minimum wage or less.

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Bottom Rung: Construction Jobs Gained And Lost, And Their Place In Idaho’s Economy

This week, StateImpact‘s “Bottom Rung” series is looking at low-wage work in Idaho. We’re asking why the state has an outsized share of minimum wage jobs.

Construction employment was the starting point for the broadcast story that aired this morning. The construction industry suffered especially steep losses in the recession. In Idaho, the number of construction workers remains more than 40 percent below its 2007 peak, even as local home prices regain lost ground and new home building picks up.

Data Source: Idaho Department of Labor

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Bottom Rung: Migration By The Numbers

The latest driver’s license data suggests more 20-somethings are leaving Idaho than ever before. The net loss of Idahoans aged 21-30 last year was 149. The data show 11,530 young people moved to Idaho from other states in 2012, while 11,679 left.

Source: Idaho Department of Labor | Idaho Department of Transportation

The Idaho Department of Labor is keeping an eye on this unsettling trend; young people are leaving the state in search of higher-paying jobs while retirees from out-of-state are moving in faster than ever. Continue Reading

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