Do you remember your first paycheck from your first job? Even if you were making minimum wage, it probably felt good to get that money the first time.

Now, imagine getting a minimum wage check with 40 hours a week of work in 2023 (almost 2024)... it's a bit different, isn't it?

The 2023 Federal Minimum Wage Is Still $7.25 An Hour

According to Cornell Law School, the original purpose of minimum wage was to "stabilize the post-depression economy and protect the workers in the labor force" and also "create a minimum standard of living to protect the health and well-being of employees."

Are we accomplishing all of that in 2023/2024 with a 40-hour weekly wage of $290 or $15,080 a year?

Spoiler alert: not a chance.

According to, the current cost of living in Idaho is $39,739 per year which is more than double the annual income of minimum wage.

How Minimum Wage Sets People in Idaho Up For Failure

Due to the high cost of living, making minimum wage is no longer a viable option in Idaho. Here's a brief breakdown of what the cost of living is in Idaho...

Gallery Credit: Chris Cardenas

And that's just living expenses! If you're earning minimum wage in 2023/2024, don't even think about aiming to buy a house one day. According to SoFi, the average cost of a home in Boise is $453,480, or roughly 30x the average annual minimum wage salary.

We Get It, Not Everyone Thinks Raising Minimum Wage Is A Good Idea

Everyone is entitled to their opinion and facts are facts. Sure, there are plenty of places that pay above minimum wage but even then - is the wage enough to support someone with everything they need in Idaho?

Some may argue: "That's why it's supposed to be a job for younger people just getting started!"

Sure! That might be true but that's not the case for everyone these days. Things happen, emergencies happen, and just life in general. Surely, there is a viable minimum wage that we can all agree on that would help a lot of people.

It's not like it used to be and as we're about to see, the minimum wage hasn't changed much since the early 2000s and only by $7 since the late 1930s.

Is that okay with you?

The Minimum Wage In Idaho Every Year Since 1938

Here are the minimum wage amounts in Idaho every year since 1938.

Gallery Credit: Chris Cardenas

10 Remote Idaho Jobs That Pay At Least $100K A Year

Looking for a new job but don't want to leave the comfort of home? We have you covered.

Gallery Credit: Chris Cardenas

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