Idaho led the nation in the percentage of hourly employees who made the minimum wage in 2012, according to the Idaho Department of Labor.
Nearly 8 percent of the states hourly workers 31,000 people made $7.25 an hour or less. That is the highest percentage for Idaho since the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics started making estimates a decade ago.
Idahos minimum wage workers increased by 63 percent from 2011, when the state ranked 30th.
Alaska was the lowest state for minimum wage employees at 1 percent of the hourly work force.
Nationally 4.7 percent of the countrys hourly employees made minimum wage, about 3.5 million workers.
Idahos minimum wage ranking is part of a long trend of lagging pay in the state. Average wages in Idaho fell to 76 percent of the national average in 2010, compared with 88 percent in 1977.
Averages wages between 1977 and 2010 grew by 3.4 percent when adjusted for inflation, the lowest state to show an increase, according to the labor department.