The minimum wage rises again in Oregon today, July 1. The hourly wage went from $12.50 to $13.25 within the Portland Metro urban growth boundary; from $11.25 to $12 in Northwest Oregon and Deschutes, Josephine, Jackson, Hood River and Wasco counties; and from $11 to $11.50 in rural Eastern and Southwest Oregon counties. The increase is the latest under a 2016 union-backed law under which the minimum wage will reach $14.75, 13.50, and $12.50 in July 2022; after that, the wage will rise annually based on inflation. Approximately 146,303 workers are impacted.
Meanwhile in Washington, a 2016 ballot initiative has also been raising the minimum wage. Since Jan. 1 it’s been $13.50 an hour statewide, and as high as $16.39 in Seattle.
Congress hasn’t passed a federal minimum wage increase since 2007, and the federal minimum wage has been stuck at $7.25 since 2009. That’s the longest minimum wage freeze since the minimum wage law first took effect in 1938. Twenty-nine states have passed higher minimum wages than the federal one, but the federal minimum is in effect in 21 other states, including Idaho.