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Oregon's Economy: Wages

The Flora Cemetery in Wallowa County. (Photo courtesy Jim and Debbie Lynn Keefer)

The Flora Cemetery in Wallowa County. (Photo courtesy Jim and Debbie Lynn Keefer)

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Oregon has the second highest minimum wage in the nation. As of 2015, the minimum wage is $9.25 per hour. Oregon’s minimum wage is adjusted annually by the increase in the U.S. Consumer Price Index. Washington has the highest minimum wage rate of any state at $9.32 per hour. California’s minimum wage is $8.00 per hour, and Nevada’s minimum wage is $8.25 per hour. Idaho’s minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, which is equal to the federal minimum wage rate.


Although Oregon has a high minimum wage, workers in Oregon tend to work fewer hours per week and, as a result, average wage earnings are below the national level. Workers at Oregon
businesses earned an average of $759 in weekly earnings in 2013, which is below the national average earnings of $825 per week.


Oregon workers earned an annual average of $45,010 in 2013, but the pay workers earn can vary widely by industry. The average annual pay in the information industry was $67,308, the most of any broad sector, followed by manufacturing ($61,852) and financial activities ($58,003). The lowest earnings were at jobs in leisure and hospitality, where pay averaged $18,138 per year.


Of course, the average wage for an industry does not reveal how many low- or high-wage jobs are in an industry. Roughly 17 percent of Oregon jobs have an average wage of less than $10 per hour, and another 26 percent are between $10 and $15 per hour. This suggests that more than half of all jobs pay at least $15 per hour.

 

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