Statewide minimum wages increased by 70 cents on Saturday (1 July). County-specific hourly rates are currently in effect. Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington counties in the Portland metropolitan area now have a $15.45 minimum wage.
In 15 counties, the statewide standard minimum wage is $14.20. In more rural counties, the minimum wage has increased to $12.50 per hour. Representatives of the Oregon AFL-CIO applauded the wage increase, but some business owners stated that the higher wages will make it more difficult for them to maintain their businesses.
Dan & Louis Oyster Bar Co-owner Michelle Wachsmuth said –
“We’re still reeling from the hit we took for three full years.”
“And it still hasn’t recovered all the way. And so it’s hard to pay people more money when you really don’t have money.”
Wachsmuth stated that she is in favor of wage increases due to the rising cost of accommodation. However, she stated that it will result in decreased profits for her restaurant, which is still struggling due to COVID-19 and increased downtown violence.
Do you know that, according to the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, a hiker apparently lost his footing and fell up to 150 feet to his death on a route at Multnomah Falls? At 1:49 p.m. on July 1, dispatchers received a report that a male had fallen from a trail at Multnomah Falls:
She stated that the increase in pay could result in her employing fewer employees. Wachsmuth said –
“We have to bare-bones it and when the rushes come, [I] hope we have enough people to cover the rush.”
Several online users have commented on Minimum Wage Increase in Oregon –
Minimum wage has increased 70 cents in Oregon. In the Portland metro, workers will now be paid at least $15.45. The standard state rate is $14.20, and in non-urban counties, minimum wage is $12.50.
— Thomas Shults (@ThomasShults_) July 1, 2023
The minimum wage is now 15.45 an hour in Portland Oregon!
— Badd Company (@BaddCompani) June 24, 2023
Oregon increases minimum wage based on political leanings. https://t.co/UE3xy4653v
— DeplOregonian (@BarmettlerUSA) July 1, 2023
Representatives of the Oregon AFL-CIO stated in a statement that the increase in compensation will benefit 108,000 Oregonians. They stated that the increase is a “significant milestone.”
Oregon Resident Christopher Lee Warner said –
“It’s nice to see people have enough money to afford the things they need to live.”
But Warner knows the extra pay will be hard for small companies.
Warner said –
“To some people it’s a good thing.”
“And to small business owners that are struggling, it’s not a good thing.”
Despite the increase, minimum wage employees are still incapable of affording a two-bedroom apartment. A recent study by the National Low Income Housing Coalition reveals that individuals must earn nearly $30 per hour to afford a two-bedroom apartment.