Starting July 1, Oregon workers earning minimum wage will take home a little more pay each week.
State legislators passed a bill in 2016 creating a three-tiered minimum wage, with different minimums for workers depending on location. The state is divided into three zones: The highest minimum wage occurs in the Portland area's Urban Growth Boundary which stretches through Washington, Multnomah and Clackamas counties. The move placed Oregon among the highest minimum wage states in the nation.
This Friday, workers in much of Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas counties will see their hourly wage increase to $14.75, a hike of 75 cents. The minimum wage in rural parts of the state will increase 50 cents an hour to $12.50. Workers located in the so-called "standard zone," which includes much of northwest Oregon, will see their wage increase to $13.50 an hour.
As the legislation will sunset in 2023, the minimum wage will return to being indexed to inflation, although rural and urban areas will continue to see different rates.
"It's not going to be a fixed (increase) like it has been for the last several years," said Bob Uhlenkott, a researcher with the Oregon Employment Department. "Now it will float, based on the Consumer Price Index."
Political sentiment among the Democratic majority in the House and Senate, however, indicates the bill could be extended or new legislation could be adopted to continue the upwards increase.
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