by William Pilgrim
Oregon’s minimum wage will rise from $8.50 to $8.80 on January 1, 2012, the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) announced September 15th. This is a small but significant ongoing victory for Oregon workers. In most of the country minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, and a ridiculous $2.13 per hour for tipped employees.
In Oregon the minimum wage applies to most workers and this means that all workers in Oregon are getting a raise next year. While the raise is designed only to match annual inflation (the overall yearly increase in prices), this wage increase, though small, means more money will be kept in our communities in the form of wages, and helps keep the gainfully employed out of abject poverty.
This wage translates into $18,000 per year before Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Income, and other taxes, barely enough for a single person to get by on, and certainly not enough for a family.