Bureau of Labor and Industries Commissioner Brad Avakian announced Monday that Oregon's minimum wage rate will increase to $8.95 per hour on January 1, 2013. The state's minimum wage is linked to inflation and will rise 15 cents per hour, or 1.7 percent. Oregon's minimum wage has been set at $8.80 per hour since January 1, 2012.
Oregon had the second-highest state minimum wage in 2012, behind Washington. Oregon's 2013 rate will remain lower than Washington's minimum wage (which will likely increase to $9.19 per hour on January 1, 2013) but above the federal minimum wage rate, which rose to $7.25 per hour on July 24, 2009 and has stayed there since. The federal minimum wage is not adjusted annually for inflation.
According to unemployment insurance data, Oregon had roughly 130,000 jobs paying $8.95 per hour or less in the first quarter of 2012. This constitutes 7.8 percent of all jobs covered by Oregon's unemployment insurance. Leisure and hospitality has the highest number with 50,000 jobs paying $8.95 or less, and retail trade followed with 27,400 jobs. Industries in which a substantially larger-than-average share of jobs paid $8.95 per hour or less include leisure and hospitality, retail trade, and natural resources and mining.
Ballot Measure 25, enacted by Oregon voters in 2002, requires an annual minimum wage adjustment based on changes in inflation as measured by the U.S. City Average Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers for All Items (CPI-U). Since the enactment of Measure 25, minimum wage adjustments have occurred more frequently in Oregon, but are not subject to the unpredictable, irregular timing and magnitude of federal minimum wage changes. Oregon is one of 10 states that adjusts the minimum wage based on inflation.
More information about the state's minimum wage is available at www.oregon.gov/BOLI. For employment-related questions about the minimum wage, contact State Employment Economist Nick Beleiciks.