Idahoans who worked in the private sector made about $30 more per week in the spring of 2016 than they did a year before, according to new labor data.
The average weekly wage for those workers was $743 in the second quarter, the Idaho Department of Labor said. And almost all of Idaho’s industries had year-over-year employment growth, the department said.
The 4.2 percent increase in weekly wages made Idaho one of the most improved states in the country for the quarter. However, Idaho’s wages are still among the lowest in the nation. Idaho’s improved wage was 33 percent lower than the U.S. average of $989.
“Over the past three years, Idaho’s wages have grown by 9.4 percent, ninth in the nation,” the department said. The gains move Idaho’s average weekly wage among private employers to 48th among the 50 states (excluding the District of Columbia, whose $1,623 average wage tops every other state’s by nearly $400). Idaho pulled ahead of Montana to move up from 49th a year ago, when only Mississippi trailed the Gem State.
Among all employers, not just private ones, Idaho had a $740 average wage, leading only Mississippi’s $727.
Pay was higher in almost all Idaho industries. The leaders were company-and-enterprise management, with a 27 percent pay increase; and retail, with a 10 percent increase.
Educational services, real estate and rental and leasing were the oginly industries where wages decreased, the department said.
These industries had job growth of more than 5 percent:
▪ Administrative and waste services
▪ Educational services
▪ Arts, entertainment and recreation
▪ Accommodation and food services
Overall, Idaho’s economy gained 21,575 jobs. The industries that lost jobs were wholesale trade, mining, management of companies and enterprises, and information.