Oregon's minimum wage goes up January 1

Oregon's minimum wage goes up January 1
On the left: One hour of Oregon's minimum wage, before payroll deductions. At right: One hour of Oregon's minimum wage after January 1, 2014, before payroll deductions. (Currency not to scale)

PORTLAND, Ore. – Minimum wage employees will make $9.10 an hour in Oregon starting January 1, 2014, which is up $0.15 per hour from the current $8.95 minimum.

Oregon labor commissioner Brad Avakian made the announcement on Tuesday morning. Under Oregon law, the labor commissioner adjusts the minimum wage each year to reflect inflation.

“Oregon can build a stronger economy by making sure that workers have the purchasing power they need to keep pace with the rising cost of everyday goods,” said Avakian.  “With this increase in Oregon’s wage floor, nearly 100,000 Oregonians will earn more money for groceries, school supplies, gas and other household essentials. That’s good not just for individual workers, but for our state’s economy.”

According to the Bureau of Labor and Industries, the increase translates to an extra $234 each year for minimum wage employees working 30 hours a week.

Oregon, California and Washington have or will have some of the highest minimum wages in the country.

California lawmakers recently voted to increase their minimum wage to $10/hour from the current $8/hour. The $10 mark will be hit by 2016.

Washington has the highest current minimum wage at $9.19/hour.

Like Oregon, minimum wage is also adjusted in Washington each year for inflation. That adjustment is typically made in September, although the state has not yet announced the 2014 rate. Eight other states also tie their minimum wages to inflation.

The three western states are among 19 states with minimum wages higher than the federal rate of $7.25/hour.

There are 22 states that match the federal level. Four states have minimum wages below the federal level and five have no law at all, although in those cases the federal law supersedes the state law.