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News Release Information

15-1333-SAN
Thursday, July 09, 2015

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Technical information:
Media contact:
  • (415) 625-2270

Minimum Wage Workers in Idaho – 2014

Of the 412,000 workers paid hourly rates in Idaho in 2014, 12,000 earned exactly the prevailing federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, while 9,000 earned less, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Richard J. Holden noted that the 21,000 workers earning the federal minimum wage or less made up 5.1 percent of all hourly paid workers in the state. Nationwide, those earning the federal minimum or less accounted for 3.9 percent of the hourly paid workforce. (The Idaho minimum wage is equal to the prevailing federal minimum wage.)

In 2003, 11,000 hourly paid workers earned the prevailing federal minimum wage or less in Idaho, the lowest level since data were first available in 2000. The 11,000 workers in this category accounted for 3.0 percent of all hourly paid workers in the state. In 2007, the federal minimum wage began increasing after holding steady for nearly a decade. Two additional increases in the federal minimum wage followed, resulting in more Idaho workers falling into this category, peaking at 31,000 in 2012. That number has fallen in the two years since the peak. (See chart 1.)

From 2013 to 2014, the portion of hourly paid workers in Idaho who earned at or below the federal minimum wage declined from 7.1 to 5.1 percent. The percentage of workers earning less than the federal minimum rose 0.3 percentage point in 2014 to 2.2 percent, while the share earning exactly the minimum wage fell 2.2 percentage points to 2.9 percent. (See table 1.)

Of the 21,000 workers earning the federal minimum wage or less in Idaho in 2014, 12,000, or 57 percent, were women. These women represented 5.8 percent of all women paid hourly rates in the state. There were 9,000 men earning the minimum wage or less in Idaho, accounting for 4.4 percent of all men paid hourly rates in the state. 

In 2014, Idaho’s proportion of hourly paid workers earning at or below the federal minimum wage ranked ninth among the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The states with the highest percentages of hourly paid workers earning at or below the federal minimum wage were Arkansas, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee (all between 6 percent and 7 percent). The states with the lowest percentages of hourly paid workers earning at or below the federal minimum wage were Alaska, California, Oregon, and Washington (all between 1 percent and 2 percent). It should be noted that some states have minimum wage laws establishing standards that exceed the federal minimum wage. As of January 1, 2015, 29 states and the District of Columbia had laws establishing minimum wage standards that exceeded the federal level of $7.25 per hour. (See table 2 and chart 2.)

Overall, wage and salary workers earning hourly rates in the state had median hourly earnings of $12.81 in 2014; nationally, the median was $13.14. The median hourly rates for men and women in Idaho in 2014 were $13.88 and $11.89, respectively. (See table 1.) For the nation, the comparable figures were $14.39 per hour for men and $12.18 per hour for women.


Technical Note

The estimates in this release were obtained from the Current Population Survey (CPS), which provides information on the labor force, employment, and unemployment. The survey is conducted monthly for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) by the U.S. Census Bureau using a scientifically selected national sample of about 60,000 eligible households in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The survey also provides data on earnings, which are based on one-fourth of the CPS monthly sample and are limited to wage and salary workers.

Statistics based on the CPS are subject to both sampling and nonsampling error. The differences among data for the states reflect, in part, variations in the occupation, industry, and age composition of each state’s labor force. In addition, sampling error for the state estimates is considerably larger than it is for the national data.

Minimum wage worker data, particularly levels, for each year are not strictly comparable with data for earlier years because of the introduction of revised population controls used in the CPS. For technical documentation and related information, including reliability of the CPS estimates, see www.bls.gov/cps/documentation.htm.

It should be noted that the presence of workers with reported wages below the federal minimum wage does not necessarily indicate violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, as there are exemptions to the minimum wage provisions of the law. Estimates of the number of minimum wage workers in this release pertain only to workers who are paid hourly rates. Salaried workers and other workers who are not paid by the hour are excluded, even though some have earnings that, if converted to hourly rates, would be at or below the federal minimum wage. Consequently, the estimates presented in this release likely understate the actual number of workers with hourly earnings at or below the minimum wage.

The prevailing federal minimum wage was $2.90 in 1979, $3.10 in 1980, and $3.35 in 1981-89. The minimum wage rose to $3.80 in April 1990, $4.25 in April 1991, $4.75 in October 1996, and $5.15 in September 1997. On July 24, 2007, the federal minimum wage increased to $5.85 per hour; on July 24, 2008, to $6.55 per hour; and on July 24, 2009, to $7.25 per hour.

The principal definitions used in connection with the earnings series in this release are described below:

Median hourly earnings. The median is the amount which divides a given earnings distribution into two equal groups, one having earnings above the median and the other having earnings below the median. The median is less sensitive to extreme wages than the mean; this makes it a better measure for highly skewed distributions.

Wage and salary workers. Workers age 16 and older who receive wages, salaries, commissions, tips, payments in kind, or piece rates on their sole or principal job. This group includes employees in both the private and public sectors. All self-employed workers are excluded whether or not their businesses are incorporated.

Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: 202-691-5200; Federal Relay Service: 1-800-877-8339.

Table 1. Employed wage and salary workers paid hourly rates with earnings at or below the prevailing federal minimum wage and median earnings of all hourly paid workers in Idaho, by sex, annual averages 2004-2014
IdahoNumber of workers (in thousands)Percent of workers paid hourly ratesMedian earnings (in dollars)
Total paid hourly ratesAt or below minimum wageAt or below minimum wage
TotalAt minimum wageBelow minimum wageTotalAt minimum wageBelow minimum wage
Total, both sexes

2004

38312393.10.82.310.09

2005

41512482.91.01.910.45

2006

42513583.11.21.911.57

2007

42412482.80.91.911.78

2008

412154113.61.02.711.93

2009

388249156.22.33.911.87

2010

3963015157.63.83.812.19

2011

379191275.03.21.811.93

2012

4043116157.74.03.712.47

2013

411292187.15.11.912.30

2014

412211295.12.92.212.81
Total, men

2004

1853121.60.51.110.94

2005

2004222.01.01.011.83

2006

2124221.90.90.912.29

2007

2223121.40.50.912.88

2008

2074131.90.51.413.78

2009

18912576.32.63.712.83

2010

19311565.72.63.113.73

2011

1847523.82.71.112.42

2012

20814686.72.93.813.31

2013

205121025.94.91.013.13

2014

2069634.42.91.513.88
Total, women

2004

1989274.51.03.59.78

2005

2159364.21.42.89.80

2006

2129364.21.42.810.37

2007

2029364.51.53.010.40

2008

20511385.41.53.910.25

2009

19813496.62.04.511.16

2010

203191099.44.94.411.00

2011

19512756.23.62.611.34

2012

196171078.75.13.611.88

2013

205171168.35.42.911.83

2014

20712665.82.92.911.89

Note: Data excludes all self-employed persons, whether or not their businesses are incorporated. Some numbers may not sum to totals due to rounding.
 

Table 2. Wage and salary workers paid hourly rates with earnings at or below the prevailing federal minimum wage, by state, 2014 annual averages
StateNumber of workers (in thousands)Percent distributionPercent of workers paid hourly rates
Total paid hourly ratesAt or below minimum wageTotal paid hourly ratesAt or below minimum wageAt or below minimum wage
TotalAt minimum wageBelow minimum wageTotalAt minimum wageBelow minimum wageTotalAt minimum wageBelow minimum wage

Total, 16 years and older

77,2072,9921,2551,737100.0100.0100.0100.03.91.62.2

Alabama

1,1605730271.51.92.41.64.92.62.3

Alaska

2063120.30.10.10.11.50.51.0

Arizona

1,593438352.11.40.62.02.70.52.2

Arkansas

7244624220.91.51.91.36.43.33.0

California

9,133108456311.83.63.63.61.20.50.7

Colorado

1,219375321.61.20.41.83.00.42.6

Connecticut

883192171.10.60.21.02.20.21.9

Delaware

2239450.30.30.30.34.01.82.2

District of Columbia

1063120.10.10.10.12.80.91.9

Florida

4,340183401435.66.13.28.24.20.93.3

Georgia

2,15011957622.84.04.53.65.52.72.9

Hawaii

335171250.40.61.00.35.13.61.5

Idaho

412211290.50.71.00.55.12.92.2

Illinois

3,15711531844.13.82.54.83.61.02.7

Indiana

1,84611356572.43.84.53.36.13.03.1

Iowa

9965024261.31.71.91.55.02.42.6

Kansas

8144022181.11.31.81.04.92.72.2

Kentucky

1,1445626301.51.92.11.74.92.32.6

Louisiana

1,0876830381.42.32.42.26.32.83.5

Maine

38712390.50.40.20.53.10.82.3

Maryland

1,3115319341.71.81.52.04.01.42.6

Massachusetts

1,6575711462.11.90.92.63.40.72.8

Michigan

2,6149923763.43.31.84.43.80.92.9

Minnesota

1,5245034162.01.72.70.93.32.21.0

Mississippi

6474024160.81.31.90.96.23.72.5

Missouri

1,5527234382.02.42.72.24.62.22.4

Montana

3057430.40.20.30.22.31.31.0

Nebraska

5472616100.70.91.30.64.82.91.8

Nevada

767209111.00.70.70.62.61.21.4

New Hampshire

38515690.50.50.50.53.91.62.3

New Jersey

1,9286619472.52.21.52.73.41.02.4

New Mexico

478151140.60.50.10.83.10.22.9

New York

3,898137321055.04.62.56.03.50.82.7

North Carolina

2,22711368452.93.85.42.65.13.12.0

North Dakota

2287340.30.20.20.23.11.31.8

Ohio

3,33511318954.33.81.45.53.40.52.8

Oklahoma

9003417171.21.11.41.03.81.91.9

Oregon

98510371.30.30.20.41.00.30.7

Pennsylvania

3,45015673834.55.25.84.84.52.12.4

Rhode Island

27510280.40.30.20.53.60.72.9

South Carolina

1,1175030201.41.72.41.24.52.71.8

South Dakota

24711650.30.40.50.34.52.42.0

Tennessee

1,61711065452.13.75.22.66.84.02.8

Texas

6,3543611821798.212.114.510.35.72.92.8

Utah

7222814140.90.91.10.83.91.91.9

Vermont

1815140.20.20.10.22.80.62.2

Virginia

1,8789036542.43.02.93.14.81.92.9

Washington

1,78117982.30.60.70.51.00.50.4

West Virginia

4432616100.60.91.30.65.93.62.3

Wisconsin

1,7667147242.32.43.71.44.02.71.4

Wyoming

1725230.20.20.20.22.91.21.7

Note: Data exclude all self-employed persons whether or not their businesses are incorporated. These data are based on a sample and therefore are subject to sampling error; the degree of error may be quite large for less populous states.

 

Last Modified Date: Thursday, July 09, 2015