Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Growing Number of States Look to Increase Minimum Wage

In Oregon, the minimum wage rose to $8.95 per hour as of January 1, 2013. Oregon is one of  about 10 states that adjusts the minimum wage each year, based on inflation. In other states, and for the U.S., a change in the minimum wage requires legislative action.

According to an article from USA Today, nearly half of all states have increased their minimum wage this year or are considering such an increase. In addition to the states with automatic wage increases, like Oregon, 13 other states have considered upping minimum hourly earnings this year. Of the states considering proposals -- which include Maryland, New York, New Jersey, and Hawaii -- the last increases occurred between 2007 and 2009. 

The last federal minimum wage increase, from $5.15 to $7.25, came in 2009. A BLS report finds that 73.9 million American workers over the age of 16 were paid at hourly rates, of which 1.7 million earned minimum wage in 2011. 

BLS estimates also show that the average hourly wage in December 2012 for all privately employed workers was $23.73, up 6 percent from 2009.

More information on Oregon's minimum wage can be found in a summary from State Employment Economist Nick Beleiciks.

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