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2015 Minimum Wage Backgrounder


Oregon’s minimum wage is currently $9.25/hour. It is automatically indexed each year based on Portland consumer price index (CPI).

Oregon’s minimum wage is currently $2.00/hour more than the federal minimum wage.

Oregon’s minimum wage is the second highest state minimum wage in the US, behind only Washington ($9.47/hour).


 Oregon minimum wage statistics (Current Population Survey Data by US Census and US Dept of Labor):

  • Approximately 8% of state’s workforce earns minimum wage
  • Fewer than 1 in 6 Oregon minimum wage earners are employed full time
  • Only 30% of minimum wage earners are single adults
  • Only 15% of minimum wage earners are single parents
  • Only 1% of Oregon’s total workforce are single parent, minimum wage earners
  • Average income of an Oregon family with a minimum wage earner is $42,000/yr


Oregon’s historically high minimum wage has not yielded economic gains for Oregon workers. Since 2002 (when Oregon voters passed Measure 25 to increase minimum wage and index for inflation):

  • Oregon’s unemployment rate has consistently exceeded the federal employment rate
  • Oregon’s youth unemployment rate has consistently exceeded the federal youth unemployment rate
  • Oregon’s wage and salary income per employee consistently trails the US average
  • The average Oregon worker makes 92 cents on the dollar to the average US worker – a difference of over $3,200/yr – and the gap is widening
  • Oregon’s poverty rate now exceeds the US poverty rate
  • Oregon’s U-6 “unemployment and underemployment” rate is a full 2 points higher than the average 2014 federal rate (14.2% state vs. 12.0% federal).


 Fill in with local business impacts and examples:

  • Local business impacts with a higher minimum wage
  • The legislature is already considering a paid sick leave mandate that will cost small business $976 million per biennium.