Oregon’s Minimum Wage to Increase Each Year Through 2022

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By Will Burchard
 Oregon Employment Economist
 william.g.burchard@oregon.gov

Oregon’s minimum wage increases on July 1, 2021, but the raises won’t be the same across the state. The minimum wage increases to $14.00 per hour inside the Portland urban growth boundary, $12.00 per hour in nonurban counties, and $12.75 in other areas of the state.

Oregon’s three minimum wages will be among the top state-level minimum wages in the nation. The highest minimum wage will be in the District of Columbia ($15.00), followed by Washington ($13.69), Massachusetts ($13.50), and California ($13.00). 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 2020

Between July 1, 2020 and July 1, 2021, Oregon’s minimum wages were $13.25 per hour within the Portland urban growth boundary, $12.00 standard, and $11.50 in nonurban counties. Roughly 6.1% (123,200) of all jobs (2,008,000) paid minimum wage or less in Oregon in the third quarter of 2020.

There were fewer jobs than usual in third quarter 2020, when public health measures were in place to help restrict the spread of COVID-19. Since then the number of jobs has rebounded substantially, so these numbers are likely well below employment levels in third quarter 2021.

The share of jobs paying minimum wage ranged from a low of 2.8% in Sherman County (29 jobs) to a high of 16.9% in Wheeler County (56 jobs). Multnomah County had 25,454 minimum wage jobs, which made up 5.1% of total jobs in the county.

Oregon’s metro area counties had a slightly smaller share of minimum wage jobs (6.1%) than its non-metro counties (6.5%). Multnomah and Deschutes counties had the lowest percentage of jobs (5.1%) paying minimum wage among metro counties, followed by Marion County (5.4%) and Benton County (5.6%). Josephine County had the highest share of jobs paying minimum wage among metro counties at 8.4%.

Thirteen counties had a share of minimum wage jobs at or below the statewide share of 6.1%. The smallest shares were in Sherman County (2.8%), Morrow County (3.9%), Jefferson County (5.0%), and Umatilla County (5.0%). 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 Wheeler (16.9%), Harney (12.2%), Malheur (10.5%), and Baker counties (10.1%).

See our report Oregon’s Minimum Wage Jobs: Facts, Figures, and Context for historical information about Oregon’s minimum wage jobs.

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