Nearly 100,000 Oregonians will see an increase in their wages beginning January 1st. Those making the current $8.95 will soon be making $9.10 an hour.
Legislation passed in 2002 matches the State’s minimum wage to the Consumer Price Index. The increase is projected to generate more than $20 million in new economic activity. Charlie Burr is the Communications Director for Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries. He says most small business owners don’t complain about the increase.
Burr: “The thing that they raise with us time and again is a highly trained workforce. It’s pretty rare for us to hear directly from business owners about the minimum wage, and part of it is that in the past 10-plus years since we’ve had our minimum wage system, the increases have been slow and steady. You don’t have any major spikes from year to year.”
Despite the increase, critics say the boost doesn’t go far enough. The Oregon Center for Public Policy estimates it would take at least a minimum wage of about $9.55 to lift a family of three with one working parent out of poverty.
copyright, 2013 KLCC