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Idaho Wages Fell During Recession

Wages in Idaho lost ground nationally during the recession.

The average wage fell from 37th in 2008 to 38th in 2010 among the states. At the same time, the median wage dropped from 35th to 39th.

The latest survey of wages under the Occupational Employment Statistics program put the average wage for all jobs in Idaho at $18.56 an hour in May 2010. That was 15 percent below the national average wage for all jobs.

The median wage, which is the point where half the workers are paid more and half are paid less, was $14.54 an hour in 2010, 12 percent below the national median.

By comparison, the average Idaho wage in 2009 was $18.23 an hour, 14.6 percent below the national average, while the median wage was $14.44 an hour, 10.5 percent of the national median.

Idaho began to feel the recession in earnest in the fall of 2008. That year, the average Idaho wage was $17.94 an hour, 13.3 percent below the national average, while the median wage was $14.32 an hour, 8.7 percent of the national median.

Most of the urban and rural areas of Idaho saw similar increases in the gaps between their average and median wages in 2010 and the nation?s average and median.

The exception was the eastern Idaho area outside of metropolitan Idaho Falls. The gap actually closed between the regional and national average and median wages, primarily because of the stability of the Idaho National Laboratory in rural Butte County.

The Lewiston metro area also saw the gap close for its median wage but continue increasing for the average wage.

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