By Blair Koch
Idaho’s average wage has ranked among the bottom for years and the latest wage data indicates workers aren’t gaining ground.
In 2012 Idaho’s average wage, at $18.67 an hour, ranked 46th among the states, in 2013 the state’s ranking fell to 47th, according to the latest data released by the Idaho Department of Labor.
The wage fell four-tenths of a percentage point, to 83.6 percent the national average wage, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Employment Survey and included in a release from Idaho Department of Labor.
Average wages have been falling for several years with a 1.2 percent decline in 2011 and 2012.
The median wage is down as well. The median wage, the wage where half of workers make more and half make less, was recorded at $14.68 an hour, or 87 percent of the national median wage and down three-tenths of a percentage point from 2012.
Last month BLS data indicated the number of Idaho workers making the $7.25 minimum wage had dropped slightly, to 7.1 percent, or about 2,000 workers seeing a wage increase. In 2012, there were 31,000 minimum wage workers compared to 29,000 workers earning minimum wage in 2013.
With this, Idaho moved from first to second in leading the nation with the percentage of hourly workers making minimum wage or less.
Idaho is one of five states without its own minimum wage, meaning it defaults to the federal standard of $7.25 an hour.