Minimum wage workers in Oregon received a 50 cent raise on Monday as part of a phased-in series of annual increases.
The bump in pay impacted about 162,000 Oregonians, KOIN 6 News reports.
The Oregon State Legislature in 2016 approved a set of increases in the minimum wage until 2022, when the wage will be tied to inflation. For the Portland metro area, the minimum wage will top out at $14.75 an hour.
The legislation also created Oregon's unique three-tier minimum wage system to take into account differences in the state's urban and rural regions.
In the Portland metro area, the minimum wage increased from $12 to $12.50. The standard wage is now $11.25 an hour for more than a dozen counties, including Marion, Yamhill and Tillamook. In nonurban counties, the pay was bumped to $11.
Labor Commissioner Val Hoyle said in a press release that the minimum wage increase will help protect the state's low-income workers. She contrasted Oregon's steady increases with the federal minimum wage — which has stayed flat for 10 years at $7.25 an hour.
The minimum wage increase will affect a little over 7% of the state's employees. According to national data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics shows that less than half of minimum wage workers are younger than 25. Roughly two-thirds of those workers are women.
KOIN 6 News is a media partner of the Portland Tribune.
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