Published: February 25, 2020

Business poll: Leave Idaho minimum wage where it is

BOISE — Results from a poll released Feb. 13 by Idaho’s largest and leading small-business association showed almost no support for state legislators in any way tinkering with one of the hottest small-business economies in the nation’s history.

As it does every year, NFIB polls its members on state and federal issues affecting their right to own, operate, and grow their businesses. Results from the annual polls center NFIB’s lobbying positions in Boise and in Washington, D.C. The 2020 Idaho state member ballot asked four questions.

Should NFIB support a proposal to raise the state general minimum wage and minimum wage of tipped employees?

Yes — 18%

No — 72%

Und. — 10%

Should Idaho establish a state-run retirement plan for small businesses?

Yes — 9%

No — 80%

Und. — 11%

Should employers be prohibited from considering an applicant’s criminal history until after the interview process has concluded?

Yes — 4%

No — 92%

Und. — 4%

Should employers use the ABC test to determine if workers classify as independent contractors?

Yes — 14%

No — 59%

Und. — 27%

“We are living through one of the hottest small-business economies ever,” said Suzanne Budge, NFIB’s Idaho state director. “Employee compensation is at record highs, according to NFIB’s monthly Small Business Economic Trends reports. But even before those record highs, only 2 percent of all hourly paid workers nationally were earning the minimum wage, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and as economist Jeffrey Dorfman points out, ‘Minimum wage earners are not a uniformly poor and struggling group; many are teenagers from middle-class families and many more are sharing the burden of providing for their families, not carrying the load all by themselves.’

“One reason the Idaho economy is doing well is that labor costs are steady and predictable. The Legislature should not retreat from its wise decision to have the state’s minimum-wage rate the same as the federal government’s and disallow local governments from setting their own rates.”

• • •

Keep up with the latest on Idaho small business at or by following NFIB on Twitter @NFIB_ID