Bringing the Economy Home


Making Money In Idaho, A Guide To Wages


This page is no longer being updated. For ongoing coverage of this topic, go to Boise State Public Radio’s website.

As it is in many U.S. states, income in Idaho is on an upward trend. Idaho lost ground in per capita personal income from 2009-2011 as it recovered from the Great Recession. But what’s also growing is the gap between personal income in Idaho and in the national as a whole.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis | Download the Data

Data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis show Idahoans earned less in 2012 than residents of almost every other state in the country.

Data: Bureau of Economic Analysis | Chart: Emilie Ritter Saunders / StateImpact

Click on the chart to enlarge.

A closer look at hourly wages reveals half of Idaho’s workforce earned $14.58 an hour or less in 2012. The hourly wage in Idaho, on average, is $18.48.

Idaho also had a larger share of hourly workers earning minimum wage in 2012 than ever before. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates 31,000 Idahoans made $7.25 an hour or less in 2012. That’s a 63 percent increase from 2011.

Latest Posts

Bottom Rung: Two Idaho Workers Talk About Life On Low Wages

Wages are lower in Idaho than in nearly ever other state. That’s often chalked up to Idaho’s rural nature and low cost of living. But recently, the state has lost ground. A federal Bureau of Labor Statistics report shows that Idaho has the largest share of workers earning minimum wage in the country. And that share […]

Number Of Businesses In Idaho Are Still Well Below The Pre-Recession Peak

The U.S. Census Bureau has taken a closer look at business on the state and county levels. The agency released this map today that shows where Idaho’s businesses are concentrated, their estimated number of employees and the estimated annual payroll. The 2011 data from the American Community Survey shows there were 42,399 businesses in Idaho, […]

Regulators Zero In On Short-Term, High-Interest Loans

More than a dozen states have put caps on payday loan interest rates, limiting and in some cases shutting down the industry in many states. The pitch to cap rates in Idaho hasn’t been successful. Still, big banks have started offering short-term, high-interest loans to make up for the loss in the payday lending industry. […]

Familiar Idaho Careers Fall On 2013 Worst Jobs List

The Wall Street Journal and came out with the top jobs of 2013 list this week. They ranked 200 jobs based on things like income, stress and hiring outlook. The top job, according to their list, is an actuary. So, what’s an actuary? We didn’t know either. “Actuaries analyze the financial costs of risk […]

U.S. Bank’s Annual Shareholder Meeting In Boise To Draw Regional Protesters

U.S. Bank executives and shareholders are en-route to Boise for their annual meeting. The Minneapolis-based bank’s shareholders are scheduled to gather on Boise State University’s campus at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday. The Nation writes the big bank moved its meeting some 1,400 miles west this year in part to avoid protesters and groups opposed to the […]

Driver’s License Data Offers Real-Time Clues About Who Is Moving To Idaho

Have you noticed more California drivers on Idaho’s roads? Ok, maybe that’s feeding an unfair stereotype, but data show more Californians surrendered their driver’s license for an Idaho card than any other state last year. It’s a clue into who is moving to the Gem State. We put that data on a map…

Personal Income Grows, But Idahoan’s Earnings Still Fall Short

Idaho’s per capita personal income increased by $868 in 2012. That’s a 3.3 percent increase over 2011, and it boosts annual earnings above their 2008 peak. But the change wasn’t enough to narrow the gap between the net incomes of Idahoans and Americans at large. The annual personal income data released today from the U.S. […]

Idaho’s Income Gap Continues To Grow

On Wednesday, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis will release personal income data for 2012. In anticipation of that release, StateImpact Idaho pulled together personal income data going back to 1990 and compared it with the U.S. average. The data show a widening gap between Idaho and the country as a whole. Source: Bureau of […]

Idaho Leads The Nation In Minimum Wage Workers

More Idaho workers earned minimum wage in 2012 than in any year since the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics started keeping track a decade ago. The Idaho Department of Labor reports 7.7 percent of Idaho hourly workers earned $7.25 an hour or less last year. That’s up from 5 percent in 2011. The new data […]

About StateImpact

StateImpact seeks to inform and engage local communities with broadcast and online news focused on how state government decisions affect your lives.
Learn More »