Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Minimum-Wage Jobs a Smaller Share of Total in Metro Areas

Oregon’s minimum wage will increase by 15 cents to $9.25 on January 1, 2015. This is the second-highest state minimum wage in the nation, just behind Washington (which will be $9.47 on Jan. 1).

 While information is not available on how many jobs will be affected on January 1, 2015, job counts from the first quarter of last year provide a good idea. In the first quarter of 2014, about 6 percent (103,470) of jobs covered by unemployment insurance in Oregon paid minimum wage or less.

Estimates from the Oregon Employment Department show the share of jobs paying minimum wage ranged from 4 percent in Multnomah County (where 19,389 jobs paid minimum wage or less) to 11 percent in Malheur County (where 1,397 jobs paid minimum wage or less).

While a larger population means more minimum wage jobs exist in metro areas, the share of jobs paying minimum wage is smaller. The Portland metro area had the lowest percentage of jobs paying minimum wage. In fact, Multnomah, Washington, and Clackamas counties were all in the bottom five counties with lowest percentage of minimum wage paying jobs. Salem metro, made up of Marion (8%) and Polk (9%) counties, had the highest share of jobs paying minimum wage among the state's metros.

For more on the statewide minimum wage increase, check out yesterday's New Year, New Minimum Wage post.

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