Bringing the Economy Home

“Obama’s Call For Higher Minimum Wage Could Have Ripple Effect”

Idaho’s minimum wage has been $7.25 since 2009. Labor Department data shows the average hourly wage in Idaho in 2011 was $14.51.

Even though only a relatively small percentage of workers make $7.25 an hour, that pay level serves as a wage floor for all workers. When it moves higher, other wages ratchet up too.

In other words, if Congress were to boost the minimum hourly wage, then a person currently making $9 likely could move up to $10 or even $11 an hour as employers adjusted pay scales to higher levels to compete for the better low-wage workers.

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