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15-1333-SAN
Thursday, July 09, 2015

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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.)

 Chart 1. Percentage of hourly paid wage and salary workers with earnings at or below the prevailing federal minimum wage in Idaho, annual averages, 2004-2014

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.

 Chart 2. Minimum wage laws in the states, Janauary 1, 2015

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
Idaho Number of workers (in thousands) Percent of workers paid hourly rates Median earnings (in dollars)
Total paid hourly rates At or below minimum wage At or below minimum wage
Total At minimum wage Below minimum wage Total At minimum wage Below minimum wage
Total, both sexes

2004

383 12 3 9 3.1 0.8 2.3 10.09

2005

415 12 4 8 2.9 1.0 1.9 10.45

2006

425 13 5 8 3.1 1.2 1.9 11.57

2007

424 12 4 8 2.8 0.9 1.9 11.78

2008

412 15 4 11 3.6 1.0 2.7 11.93

2009

388 24 9 15 6.2 2.3 3.9 11.87

2010

396 30 15 15 7.6 3.8 3.8 12.19

2011

379 19 12 7 5.0 3.2 1.8 11.93

2012

404 31 16 15 7.7 4.0 3.7 12.47

2013

411 29 21 8 7.1 5.1 1.9 12.30

2014

412 21 12 9 5.1 2.9 2.2 12.81
Total, men

2004

185 3 1 2 1.6 0.5 1.1 10.94

2005

200 4 2 2 2.0 1.0 1.0 11.83

2006

212 4 2 2 1.9 0.9 0.9 12.29

2007

222 3 1 2 1.4 0.5 0.9 12.88

2008

207 4 1 3 1.9 0.5 1.4 13.78

2009

189 12 5 7 6.3 2.6 3.7 12.83

2010

193 11 5 6 5.7 2.6 3.1 13.73

2011

184 7 5 2 3.8 2.7 1.1 12.42

2012

208 14 6 8 6.7 2.9 3.8 13.31

2013

205 12 10 2 5.9 4.9 1.0 13.13

2014

206 9 6 3 4.4 2.9 1.5 13.88
Total, women

2004

198 9 2 7 4.5 1.0 3.5 9.78

2005

215 9 3 6 4.2 1.4 2.8 9.80

2006

212 9 3 6 4.2 1.4 2.8 10.37

2007

202 9 3 6 4.5 1.5 3.0 10.40

2008

205 11 3 8 5.4 1.5 3.9 10.25

2009

198 13 4 9 6.6 2.0 4.5 11.16

2010

203 19 10 9 9.4 4.9 4.4 11.00

2011

195 12 7 5 6.2 3.6 2.6 11.34

2012

196 17 10 7 8.7 5.1 3.6 11.88

2013

205 17 11 6 8.3 5.4 2.9 11.83

2014

207 12 6 6 5.8 2.9 2.9 11.89

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
State Number of workers (in thousands) Percent distribution Percent of workers paid hourly rates
Total paid hourly rates At or below minimum wage Total paid hourly rates At or below minimum wage At or below minimum wage
Total At minimum wage Below minimum wage Total At minimum wage Below minimum wage Total At minimum wage Below minimum wage

Total, 16 years and older

77,207 2,992 1,255 1,737 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 3.9 1.6 2.2

Alabama

1,160 57 30 27 1.5 1.9 2.4 1.6 4.9 2.6 2.3

Alaska

206 3 1 2 0.3 0.1 0.1 0.1 1.5 0.5 1.0

Arizona

1,593 43 8 35 2.1 1.4 0.6 2.0 2.7 0.5 2.2

Arkansas

724 46 24 22 0.9 1.5 1.9 1.3 6.4 3.3 3.0

California

9,133 108 45 63 11.8 3.6 3.6 3.6 1.2 0.5 0.7

Colorado

1,219 37 5 32 1.6 1.2 0.4 1.8 3.0 0.4 2.6

Connecticut

883 19 2 17 1.1 0.6 0.2 1.0 2.2 0.2 1.9

Delaware

223 9 4 5 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 4.0 1.8 2.2

District of Columbia

106 3 1 2 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 2.8 0.9 1.9

Florida

4,340 183 40 143 5.6 6.1 3.2 8.2 4.2 0.9 3.3

Georgia

2,150 119 57 62 2.8 4.0 4.5 3.6 5.5 2.7 2.9

Hawaii

335 17 12 5 0.4 0.6 1.0 0.3 5.1 3.6 1.5

Idaho

412 21 12 9 0.5 0.7 1.0 0.5 5.1 2.9 2.2

Illinois

3,157 115 31 84 4.1 3.8 2.5 4.8 3.6 1.0 2.7

Indiana

1,846 113 56 57 2.4 3.8 4.5 3.3 6.1 3.0 3.1

Iowa

996 50 24 26 1.3 1.7 1.9 1.5 5.0 2.4 2.6

Kansas

814 40 22 18 1.1 1.3 1.8 1.0 4.9 2.7 2.2

Kentucky

1,144 56 26 30 1.5 1.9 2.1 1.7 4.9 2.3 2.6

Louisiana

1,087 68 30 38 1.4 2.3 2.4 2.2 6.3 2.8 3.5

Maine

387 12 3 9 0.5 0.4 0.2 0.5 3.1 0.8 2.3

Maryland

1,311 53 19 34 1.7 1.8 1.5 2.0 4.0 1.4 2.6

Massachusetts

1,657 57 11 46 2.1 1.9 0.9 2.6 3.4 0.7 2.8

Michigan

2,614 99 23 76 3.4 3.3 1.8 4.4 3.8 0.9 2.9

Minnesota

1,524 50 34 16 2.0 1.7 2.7 0.9 3.3 2.2 1.0

Mississippi

647 40 24 16 0.8 1.3 1.9 0.9 6.2 3.7 2.5

Missouri

1,552 72 34 38 2.0 2.4 2.7 2.2 4.6 2.2 2.4

Montana

305 7 4 3 0.4 0.2 0.3 0.2 2.3 1.3 1.0

Nebraska

547 26 16 10 0.7 0.9 1.3 0.6 4.8 2.9 1.8

Nevada

767 20 9 11 1.0 0.7 0.7 0.6 2.6 1.2 1.4

New Hampshire

385 15 6 9 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 3.9 1.6 2.3

New Jersey

1,928 66 19 47 2.5 2.2 1.5 2.7 3.4 1.0 2.4

New Mexico

478 15 1 14 0.6 0.5 0.1 0.8 3.1 0.2 2.9

New York

3,898 137 32 105 5.0 4.6 2.5 6.0 3.5 0.8 2.7

North Carolina

2,227 113 68 45 2.9 3.8 5.4 2.6 5.1 3.1 2.0

North Dakota

228 7 3 4 0.3 0.2 0.2 0.2 3.1 1.3 1.8

Ohio

3,335 113 18 95 4.3 3.8 1.4 5.5 3.4 0.5 2.8

Oklahoma

900 34 17 17 1.2 1.1 1.4 1.0 3.8 1.9 1.9

Oregon

985 10 3 7 1.3 0.3 0.2 0.4 1.0 0.3 0.7

Pennsylvania

3,450 156 73 83 4.5 5.2 5.8 4.8 4.5 2.1 2.4

Rhode Island

275 10 2 8 0.4 0.3 0.2 0.5 3.6 0.7 2.9

South Carolina

1,117 50 30 20 1.4 1.7 2.4 1.2 4.5 2.7 1.8

South Dakota

247 11 6 5 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.3 4.5 2.4 2.0

Tennessee

1,617 110 65 45 2.1 3.7 5.2 2.6 6.8 4.0 2.8

Texas

6,354 361 182 179 8.2 12.1 14.5 10.3 5.7 2.9 2.8

Utah

722 28 14 14 0.9 0.9 1.1 0.8 3.9 1.9 1.9

Vermont

181 5 1 4 0.2 0.2 0.1 0.2 2.8 0.6 2.2

Virginia

1,878 90 36 54 2.4 3.0 2.9 3.1 4.8 1.9 2.9

Washington

1,781 17 9 8 2.3 0.6 0.7 0.5 1.0 0.5 0.4

West Virginia

443 26 16 10 0.6 0.9 1.3 0.6 5.9 3.6 2.3

Wisconsin

1,766 71 47 24 2.3 2.4 3.7 1.4 4.0 2.7 1.4

Wyoming

172 5 2 3 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 2.9 1.2 1.7

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