With the federal minimum wage going up on Thursday, there’s little effect in states where state minimum wages already exceeded the federal level – but there’s a big impact in Idaho. The Idaho Department of Labor estimates that 42,000 Idaho workers are now paid less than the new minimum wage of $6.55 per hour. All of them will get their pay boosted to that level on Thursday.
Idaho’s minimum wage, by state law, matches the federal minimum. Last year, when the first phase of the three-stage federal minimum wage increase hit, 20,000 Idaho workers got raises because their pay was less than the current $5.85 per hour minimum. The state Department of Labor estimates that 6.5 percent of Idaho’s 640,000-plus jobs covered by unemployment insurance are held by low-wage workers who now fall below the new $6.55 minimum.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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