The Director of the Idaho Department of Commerce reminds anyone who listens that Idaho's Magic Valley is booming, and Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter spent a good portion of this year's State of the State Address trumpeting how robust the Magic Valley's economy is.
But a fascinating story in this morning's Twin Falls Times-News follows a number of Magic Valley residents who regularly "escape the area's infamously low wages" by filling six buses bound for Jackpot, Nev., where they find a minimum wage of $8.25 per hour versus Idaho's minimum wage of $7.25.
The Times-News's Joe Cadotte followed a number of Magic Valley residents who hop on an 8:10 a.m. bus to Jackpot seven days a week to work in housekeeping and food services.
According to the report, of Cactus Pete's 580 employees, 311 live in the Magic Valley and the price of a $60 monthly bus pass "makes the commute affordable" for the majority of the workers who are making $11 per hour or less.
“The transportation is nice, but at the same time, everybody is underpaid in Idaho,” Aaron Kennedy, a Cactus Pete housekeeping inspector told the Times-News. “That’s what forces us to get jobs in other places … survival. It’s just what you’ve got to do.”