Second Increase to Oregon’s Minimum Wage

By: Randall Sutton

The second increase in a series of minimum wage increases goes into effect July 1st with the largest wage jump of any year in the six-year cycle. As we have discussed previously, Oregon’s stair-stepping series of wage increases create a patchwork of different rates by region. Effective July 1st, here are the hourly minimum wage rates broken out by region:

  • Portland Urban growth boundary: $11.25
  • Standard wage, including Salem and non-rural counties like Marion and Polk counties: $10.25
  • Rural counties: $10.00

Under the law passed last year, Oregon’s minimum wage is set to increase incrementally over the next six years. At the end of these six years, the Standard wage will be adjusted annually based upon increases to the nationwide Consumer-Price Index. The Portland and non-urban rates are similarly indexed to Oregon’s Standard rate. Although this year’s jump will be the largest, the projected minimum wage for the 6th and final year is projected to place Oregon among the states with the highest minimum wage rates in the country. Here is how the breakout works:

Date Portland Standard

Includes Willamette Valley

Nonurban Counties
January 1, 2016 $9.25 $9.25 $9.25
July 1, 2016 $9.75 $9.75 $9.50
July 1, 2017 $11.25 $10.25 $10.00
July 1, 2018 $12.00 $10.75 $10.50
July 1, 2019 $12.50 $11.25 $11.00
July 1, 2020 $13.25 $12.00 $11.50
July 1, 2021 $14.00 $12.75 $12.00
July 1, 2022 $14.75 $13.50 $12.50
July 1, 2021 $1.25 over Standard Adjusted to CPI $1.00 below Standard

Although the increased minimum wage has been lauded as an improvement for workers, a new working paper by the National Bureau of Economic Research, which was recently reported on by OPB, challenged this notion. The report analyzed the effects of Seattle’s new $15.00 per hour minimum wage, finding that the law has cost workers jobs and reduced the number of hours available, offsetting the increased minimum wage.

If you have questions about minimum wage increases, or how to determine what regional rate you should be paying, please contact a member of Saalfeld Griggs’ Employment Law practice group.

Randall Sutton leads the firm’s Employment Law & Litigation practice group. The information in this article is not intended to provide legal advice. For professional consultation, please contact Randall Sutton at Saalfeld Griggs PC. 503.399.1070.

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