Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Oregon’s Minimum Wage Increases on July 1, 2020

Oregon’s minimum wage increases on July 1, 2020, but the raises won’t be the same across the state. The minimum wage increases to $13.25 per hour inside the Portland urban growth boundary, $11.50 per hour in nonurban counties, and $12.00 in other areas of the state. As U.S. consumer prices stayed flat over-the-year ending in May 2020, minimum wage workers will enjoy up to a 6.7 increase in their purchasing power.

Oregon’s minimum wage levels were set by Senate Bill 1532 in 2016. The minimum wage increases on July 1 each year through 2022. There are three tiers of step increases based on geography. Beginning in 2023, minimum wage in all tiers will be adjusted for inflation.
Oregon’s three minimum wages will be in the top seven state-level minimum wages in the nation. The highest minimum wage will be in the District of Columbia ($15.00), followed by Washington ($13.50), Massachusetts ($12.75), and California ($13.00). Oregon’s July 1 increase will set the standard minimum wage on par with minimum wage rates in Arizona, Colorado, and Maine ($12.00). The federal minimum wage will remain at $7.25 per hour.

A Look Back at Minimum Wage Jobs in 2019

Between July 1, 2019 and July 1, 2020, Oregon’s minimum wages were $12.50 per hour within the Portland urban growth boundary, $11.25 standard, and $11.00 in nonurban counties. Roughly 6.6 percent of all jobs paid minimum wage or less in Oregon in the third quarter of 2019.

Oregon’s metro area counties had a slightly smaller share of minimum wage jobs (6.6%) than its non-metro counties (7.0%). Among the metro area counties, Deschutes County had the lowest percentage of jobs (5.1%) paying minimum wage, followed by Marion County (5.4%) and Multnomah County (5.8%). Clackamas County had the highest share of jobs paying minimum wage among metro counties at 9.2 percent.

Sixteen counties had a share of minimum wage jobs at or below the statewide share of 6.6 percent. The smallest shares were in Hood River County (3.9%), Morrow County (4.0%), Gilliam (4.8%), and Deschutes County (5.1%). Counties with a higher share of minimum wage jobs tended to be in rural areas. Eastern Oregon had a greater share of minimum wage jobs than other areas of the state. The highest shares of minimum wage jobs were found in Wheeler (18.1%), Baker (12.6%), Harney (11.5%), Malheur (11.4%), and Grant County (10.9%).
Read economist Sarah Cunningham's full article here.

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