Idaho wages rose 8% last year. The Idaho Falls area lagged behind everyone else. - East Idaho News
Business & Money

Idaho wages rose 8% last year. The Idaho Falls area lagged behind everyone else.

  Published at

(Idaho Capital Sun) — Average hourly wages for Idaho workers rose 8.3% last year, increasing the statewide average to $26.75.

Wages grew 7% — or $1.67 — on average across Idaho’s population centers from 2022 to 2023.

Idaho’s capital city saw the highest growth. The Boise metropolitan area wages grew 10.3%, the Idaho Department of Labor announced in a news release.

Wage growth varied across other Idaho population centers — from as high as 8.7% for the Logan, Utah, metropolitan area, which includes some small eastern Idaho counties, to as low as 0.2% in Idaho Falls.

“A big consumer of our occupational employment and wage statistic data are students, and those who are seeking to either change careers or talk about … salary. And so I think the big key takeaway is that our salary and our wages are going up pretty good here in the state of Idaho, compared to nationally,” Idaho Department of Labor senior research analyst Amanda Rea told the Idaho Capital Sun in an interview.

The Idaho Falls metropolitan area in eastern Idaho only saw wages grow $0.04 last year to $25.85 on average, according to data the labor department shared with the Sun. But wages still grew by 8.1% in the nearby Pocatello metropolitan area.

The Boise area workforce grew 4% last year — faster than other Idaho metropolitan areas — with 14,000 more employees, the data showed.

Gov. Brad Little touted the wage growth.

“Other states’ economies are lagging while Idaho’s job market and economy keeps surging ahead. Why? Because employers and businesses see what Idaho has to offer – lower taxes, fewer regulations, an enthusiastic workforce, and a high quality of life,” Little said in a news release. “In addition, our strategic approach to getting workers trained for in-demand careers through LAUNCH will help keep the momentum going and create even more prosperity for our young Idahoans. What Idaho is doing is working, and we’re just getting started!”

The Boise area workforce is Idaho’s largest, home to 372,000 workers. The Boise area last year had more than four times as many workers as the Idaho Falls area, which had 78,000 employees, the data showed. Idaho had 822,690 employees last year, according to the news release, rising 3.2% with over 25,000 more workers.

Wages in Ada County, home to Boise, have grown 25% since 2019, the Labor Department announced in a news release.

Part of why Idaho’s capital city had the highest wage growth is because it’s home to several company headquarters, Rea told the Sun.

Only wages for full- and part-time workers are included in the Idaho Department of Labor’s wages report, Rea said. Contract, cash work and uncommon job titles aren’t captured in the Labor department’s analysis, Rea said. The agency doesn’t have estimates for occupations or employees whose wages weren’t part of the report, Rea said.