Employment Office Report On Minimum Wage

The federal minimum wage has been $7.25 since 2009 and hasn’t increased, but some states and cities recently raised their local minimum wages. Oregon’s minimum wage has been one of the highest in the nation since the passage of Measure 25 in 2002. The initiative created a new provision for Oregon’s minimum wage to increase each year based on the rate of inflation. After a decade of relatively few discussions about Oregon’s minimum wage, proposals calling for increasing Oregon’s minimum wage from $9.25 per hour to $13.50 or $15.00 are receiving a lot of attention.

A new report from the Oregon Employment Department details the state’s minimum wage employment. According to Nick Belieciks an economist with the Oregon employment department only about five percent of Oregon’s jobs in 2015 paid at or below the minimum wage of $9.25. About two out of every five Oregon jobs paid less than $15.00 per hour and could potentially be affected by one or more of the minimum wage adjustments currently under debate.

Over the last 15 years, Oregon’s minimum wage jobs have accounted for between 4 and 6 percent of the total number of jobs. In 2015, Oregon’s minimum wage of $9.25 per hour was the second highest in the nation. Minimum wage jobs accounted for 100,000 Oregon jobs in the first quarter of 2015, out of a total of almost 1.9 million jobs in the state.

“Oregon’s Minimum Wage: Facts, Figures, and Context” can be found online at www.qualityinfo.org.

An audio interview regarding the study can also be found at http://oregonemploymentdepartment.podbean.com/

Information provided by Oregon Employment Department.