Oregon’s Minimum Wage Increases on July 1, 2019

NICK BELEICIKS

Oregon’s minimum wage increases on July 1, 2019, but the raises won’t be the same across the state. The minimum wage increases to $12.50 per hour inside the Portland urban growth boundary, $11.00 per hour in nonurban counties, and $11.25 in other areas of the state.

Oregon’s three minimum wages will be in the top nine state-level minimum wages in the nation. The highest minimum wage will be in the District of Columbia ($14.00), followed by Massachusetts and Washington ($12.00); Colorado and New York ($11.10); and Arizona, California, and Maine ($11.00). The federal minimum wage will remain at $7.25 per hour.

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. This means the minimum wage will maintain purchasing power after the last step increase in 2022.

A Look Back at Minimum Wage Jobs in 2018

Between July 1, 2018 and July 1, 2019, Oregon’s minimum wages were $12.00 per hour within the Portland urban growth boundary, $10.75 standard, and $10.50 in non-urban counties. Roughly 7.3 percent of all jobs paid minimum wage or less in Oregon in the third quarter of 2018.

The share of jobs paying minimum wage ranged from a low of 3.5 percent in Morrow County (279 jobs) to a high of 12.4 percent in Harney County (331 jobs). Multnomah County had 40,240 minimum wage jobs, which made up 7.1 percent of total jobs in the county.

With a larger concentration of jobs, metro areas also have more minimum wage jobs. Among the metro area counties, Deschutes County had the lowest percentage of jobs (5.7%) paying minimum wage among metro counties, followed by Marion County (5.8%) and Benton County (6.4%). Clackamas County had the highest share of jobs paying minimum wage among metro counties at 10.2 percent.

Seventeen counties had a share of minimum wage jobs at or below the statewide share of 7.3 percent. The smallest shares were in Morrow County (3.5%), Hood River County (4.1%), Deschutes and Clatsop counties (5.7%), and Marion County (5.8%). 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 Harney (12.4%), Malheur (12.1%), Wheeler (11.8%), and Sherman (10.0%).

Nick Beleiciks
State Employment Economist
nick.j.beleiciks@oregon.gov
875 Union St NE Salem, OR 97311

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