Idaho workers crossing the border for higher paying jobs
Fruitland, Idaho (KBOI) - In Fruitland, they're making $7.25 an hour for a minimum wage job. Just across the border about a mile away in Ontario, the new minimum wage is $9.10 an hour. Now, residents in Idaho are applying for jobs in Oregon.
The owner of the Apple Bin restaurant in downtown Fruitland says he knows a lot of workers are looking to go just a mile down the road for a higher wage. But he says he's not worried.
"If you want good help, you're going to treat your employees right and that's what I do. I am not worried one bit," Mike Ketchu said.
Although some Fruitland workers say it is hard to leave a good job, the money is worth it. "I'd go work over there, I've got two boys I need to take care of and If I can make more even if I'm doing the same thing I'm doing here, I'd take a new job over there for $9.10 an hour," Morgan Moritz said.
Some have already put in their applications. "I applied over at Ontario Theatre, the Real Theatre 8, just because the minimum wage going up $9.10 and I just need the money rather than working here in Idaho at $7.25 an hour," Christian Ketchu said.
But business owners say Oregon's new higher minimum wage may have workers looking across the border for more pay but the grass may not always be greener on the other side," Ketchu said.
"A lot of them are actually coming back to Idaho to pick up more hours, they thought it was going to be better. It's actually not, from there stand point they were offered full time work they're not getting full time work."
While loyalty may make it hard to leave one job, workers say the money makes up for it.