The new year means Oregon’s low-paid workers get a raise, a 15-cent increase to the state’s minimum wage.
The increase from $8.80 to $8.95 per hour means an extra $312 a year for a family with one full-time minimum wage worker. The increase is the result of Measure 25, approved by voters in 2002, which bumped up Oregon’s minimum wage and mandated subsequent annual cost-of-living increases based on the Consumer Price Index.
Strengthening the buying power of low-wage workers is especially critical in this economic climate.
A recent study by the National Employment Law Project (PDF) showed that, while 60 percent of jobs lost during the recession have been middle-wage occupations, low-wage occupations have accounted for 58 percent of jobs created in the post-recession recovery.
Read about the Oregon minimum wage increase and discuss here.