Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Oregon's Minimum Wage Will Remain at $9.25 in 2016

Oregon's minimum wage rate will remain unchanged at $9.25 per hour in 2016. The state's minimum wage is linked to inflation and is adjusted on January 1st in most years. Since inflation was little changed over the last year, the minimum wage rate will not increase in 2016.

The last time Oregon saw no change in the minimum wage was in 2010. Inflation declined over the year, so the state's minimum wage remained at $8.40 in both 2009 and 2010.

Oregon had the second-highest state minimum wage in 2015, behind Washington (the District of Columbia and some cities also had a higher minimum wage). Oregon's 2016 rate will remain lower than Washington's minimum wage -- which will remain unchanged at $9.47 per hour -- 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 100,200 jobs paying $9.25 per hour or less in the first quarter of 2015. This constitutes 5.3 percent of all jobs covered by Oregon's unemployment insurance program. Leisure and hospitality had the highest number with 41,600 jobs paying $9.25 or less, and retail trade followed with 21,800 jobs. Industries in which a substantially larger-than-average share of jobs paid $9.25 per hour or less include leisure and hospitality, retail trade, and natural resources and mining.

For more information about minimum-wage jobs by industry, contact State Employment Economist Nick Beleiciks (who also wrote this summary!).

Note: The inflation-adjustment to 2016 comes from the Office of Economic Analysis inflation forecast.

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