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Oregon's Economy: Wages

The Wooden Shoe Tuliup Farm in rural Clackamas County. (Oregon State Archives Photo)

The Wooden Shoe Tuliup Farm in rural Clackamas County. (Oregon State Archives Photo)

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Oregon began a new, three-tier minimum wage rate on July 1, 2016. The tiers vary by geography, with a standard rate of $9.75 per hour in 18 of Oregon’s counties and a rate of $9.50 in the remaining nonurban counties. The minimum wage will increase on July 1, 2017, to a standard rate of $10.25, a rate of $11.25 within the Portland Urban Growth Boundary and a rate of $10.00 in nonurban counties. Oregon’s minimum wage will increase by $0.50 or $0.75 each year through 2022, depending on the area. Starting in 2023, Oregon’s minimum wage will be adjusted annually according to the increase in the U.S. Consumer Price Index.

 

Although Oregon has a high minimum wage compared with most other states, workers in Oregon tend to work fewer hours per week, and average wage earnings are below the national level. Workers in Oregon earned an average of $929 in weekly earnings in 2015, which is below the national average earnings of $1,018 per week.

 

Oregon workers earned an annual average of $48,312 in 2015, but the pay workers earn varies widely by industry. The average annual pay in the information industry was $73,565, the most of any broad sector, followed by manufacturing ($65,737) and professional and business services ($64,581). The lowest earnings were at jobs in leisure and hospitality, where pay averaged $19,547 per year.

 

Of course, the average wage for an industry does not reveal how many low- or high-wage jobs are in an industry. About 12 percent of Oregon jobs have an average wage of less than $10 per hour and another 28 percent are between $10 and $15 per hour. This suggests that more than 60 percent of all jobs pay at least $15 per hour.

 

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