After a January 1st increase of 15 cents per hour, Oregon’s minimum wage now stands at $9.25 – exactly two dollars per hour more than the federal minimum wage rate of $7.25 per hour. That places Oregon near the top of the list of 29 states with minimum wage rates higher than the federal rate. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, only Washington and the District of Columbia have minimum wage rates higher than Oregon at $9.47 and $9.50 respectively.
Oregon’s minimum wage is adjusted each year to reflect any percentage increase in the consumer price index. The annual adjustment, though, isn’t enough for some Oregon lawmakers. In December, a bill seeking to raise the state minimum wage to $15 per hour gained momentum among Democrats who hold strong majorities in both chambers of the legislature. The bill would allow small businesses with fewer than ten employees to phase-in the increased minimum wage with an interim hike to $12.50 per hour in 2016 before the full increase up to $15 per hour applied in 2017.