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Eye On Boise

More bad economic news: Idaho’s ‘job gap’ is growing

Anyone who was lucky enough to find a job in Washington or Idaho in 2008 likely ended up with one that doesn’t pay enough to support a family, according to a new study out today. The Northwest Job Gap study, which the Northwest Confederation of Community Organizations has sponsored each year or two since 1999, calculated that a living wage for a single adult with two children in Washington was $28.67 an hour, and 77 percent of job openings last year didn’t pay that much. In Idaho, the figure was $26.98 an hour, and 89 percent of job openings fell short.

Not only that, the report noted that since the 2008 figures were gathered, the situation’s worsened considerably, with the number of job seekers in Colorado, Idaho, Oregon and Washington nearly doubling. And the percentages of jobs whose wages fall short have grown substantially since a similar study in 2004. “Due to the economic conditions, things are not getting better - they’re getting worse,” said Boise economist Don Reading. “There are fewer jobs available. They’re paying lower wages.” You can read my full story here at

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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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