Oregon’s minimum wage will increase by 10 cents per hour to $8.50, effective January 1, 2011. The 10-cent increase mirrors a 1.15 percent increase in the Consumer Price Index since August 2009, according to a press release (PDF) issued by State Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian.
Inflation-based minimum wage hikes, rounded to the nearest 5 cents, are mandatory in Oregon thanks to Ballot Measure 25, which Oregon voters approved in 2002. Oregon’s minimum wage last increased on Jan. 1, 2009. It jumped by 45 cents, from $7.95 to $8.40. It stayed the same in 2010 despite a 1.5 percent decrease in the CPI.
In neighboring Washington, officials announced that the minimum wage will rise 12 cents, from $8.55 per hour to $8.67. Oregon and Washington are two of 10 states that have automatic increases.
Washington and Oregon will continue to have the highest minimum wages in the United States (local areas such as San Francisco, Calif. and Santa Fe, N.M. excepted). The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, though in some states the pay is lower for agricultural workers. A complete list of minimum wage rates in the United States is here.