Idaho now second-highest in number of minimum wage jobs

Associated Press

BOISE, Idaho — Idaho no longer holds the dubious distinction of being the state with the highest share of workers earning the minimum wage.

The Gem State slipped to the No. 2 spot in 2013 as workers making the nationally-mandated minimum fell from 31,000 in 2012 to 29,000, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

But 7.1 percent of Idaho hourly workers still brought in $7.25 per hour or less last year — that’s well above the national average of 4.3 percent.

In Tennessee, which rose to the top spot, 7.4 percent of hourly workers earn the minimum wage.

About 2 of every 3 jobs created in Idaho last year were in the service industry, work that typically pays about $10,000 less than what employees would make in a construction or manufacturing position.