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Oregon's Increasing Minimum Wage Brings Raises to Former Welfare Recipients and Other Low-Wage Workers Without Job Losses

Report
June 2, 1999By Jeff Thompson

Executive Summary

Oregon's "highest in the nation" minimum wage continues to raise wages for former welfare recipients and other low-wage workers without harming their employment opportunities. Data through the first quarter of 1999 shows that the fully phased-in increase has reversed years of declining wages for welfare recipients and other low-wage workers.

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Oregon's Increasing Minimum Wage Brings Raises to Former Welfare Recipients and Other Low-Wage Workers Without Job Losses (PDF)


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An updated report on the effects of Oregon's Minimum Wage was published on March 12, 2001

The 1996 voter initiative increased the minimum wage from $4.75 per hour to $5.50 per hour on January 1, 1997, and to $6.00 on January 1, 1998. The final phase of the voter enacted minimum wage increase was implemented on January 1, 1999, raising the minimum to $6.50 per hour.

The study documents that:

The weight of the evidence shows that a rising minimum wage has been good for working families and good for Oregon. These increases demonstrate the value of the minimum wage in providing an effective floor to prop up low wages. Oregon's experience with the minimum wage provides a valuable lesson for policy makers in Oregon and throughout the nation.

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