I’m not sure Idaho needs a minimum wage hike.  It appears the market has done the work of the legislature.  I was parked outside a McDonald’s this week.  The one at Addison Avenue and Washington Street in Twin Falls.  As I was sitting in my car I was looking at the signs.  McDonald’s is hiring!  The local franchise is offering hourly pay well above minimum wage.  It’s also offering college assistance and opportunities for advancement.

The $12.00 an hour offer at the local McDonald’s is well above what even some state legislators have proposed as an increase in base pay.

A friend was in Boise last weekend and drove by a burger joint.  A sign outside offered kitchen help $15.00 an hour.

The $12.00 an hour offer at the local McDonald’s is well above what even some state legislators have proposed as an increase in base pay.

Idaho’s economy has bounced back from the pandemic better than most states.  With the building and population booms showing no signs of cooling off, it’s quite possible the demand for labor will organically continue to push wages even higher.

On a national level, calls for an increase in minimums don’t make much sense.  Obviously, the cost of living in San Francisco and New York City is much higher than Southern Idaho (even with our skyrocketing housing costs!)  You should consider a respectable floor for pay in those cities could be well beyond what our local market can shoulder.

There are some who speculate the labor shortage is a direct result of increased federal jobless benefits.  I think we’ll see a shortage locally for quite some time to come.  It was an issue before COVID-19.

Twenty years ago I was working at a TV station and remember the General Manager wanted some of my news staff to accept pay cuts.  When I explained nobody liked the idea, he had a terse response.  “Well of course, I don’t know anyone who wants a cut,” he said.  The difference is we were in a business with a glut of skilled reporters.

It’s the last point I wanted to make.  If I had wanted to be rich, I would’ve taken a job on Wall Street.  Our personal choices have much impact on what we make.

 

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