Should Idaho follow Oregon and raise the minimum wage?

Should Idaho follow Oregon and raise the minimum wage? »Play Video
FRUITLAND, Idaho (KBOI)- You work, you get paid. But if you make minimum wage, where you live in the Treasure Valley can make a big difference to the bottom line.

In Idaho, the minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, in Oregon the minimum wage is $9.10. That's a $1.85 difference. Some folks in Fruitland say it's impacting the local job market.

"I think they should at least match Oregon. We have a lot of people who leave Fruitland to go across the street for that other $2," Randy Buker of Fruitland said.

The disparity between the minimum wage in Idaho and Oregon might not sound like much until you run the numbers. A typical part time employee works 30 hours per week, multiply that by $1.85 and it's an extra $55.50 per week, or $220 per month when bills come due.

"There's so much potential for that money that could help out families that are like scrimping and saving, eating Ramen every night. That $200 could make a really big difference so I'm totally for raising the minimum wage," Fruitland restaurant worker Bailey Allender said.

When asked if he'd have to let employees go or cut their hours, Allender's boss Mike Ketchu said, "both, gotta find that savings. I mean gotta cut back on hours and less employees."

But is that true? Would small business owners likely have to cut employees and hours? KBOI went across the border for some answers.

January 1, Oregon's minimum wage went up to $9.10 per hour. While it's the largest jump in years, the minimum wage routinely goes up in Oregon since it's tied to the Consumer Price Index. An Ontario restaurant owner says his workers are happier, but there are fewer of them.

"We are tied to a CPI in Oregon so we've seen the minimum wage gradually increase throughout the years but for instance, this business I have, there's probably about 60 percent of the employees I had compared to five years ago simply because we've had to cut back on the hours and make adjustments that way," Rusty's Pancake & Steak House owner David Sullivan said.