New Year Minimum Wage Increase to Impact Over 100,000

KEZI
December 28, 2011

SALEM, Ore. -- According to the Oregon Center for Public Policy, the New Year 30 cent minimum wage increase will mean a raise in pay for over 100,000 low-paid workers. The increase from $8.50 to $8.80 will start on January 1st.

"A strong minimum wage is good for workers and good for Oregon's economy," said OCPP executive director Chuck Sheketoff. "It helps the lowest-paid workers make ends meet, and it helps the economy when the workers spend those extra dollars in local businesses."

Estimates from the center show that around 137,000 jobs in the state are paid less than $8.80. Those jobs would be directly impacted by the raise. That would mean an extra $624 a year for individual workers making the current minimum wage standard. The two more impacted industries are said to be the leisure and hospitality and retail industry, with six out of ten jobs likely affected.

"The increase reflects the fact that costs have risen and allows minimum wage workers to maintain much of their purchasing power," said Sheketoff.

The wage increase comes from the passing of Measure 25 in 2002 that requires the state to adjust wages to reflect cost of living as set by the Consumer Price Index. Oregon will maintain the second highest minimum wage in the U.S., trailing to Washington State. Washington will increase state minimum wage to $9.04 on January 1st.

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