Oregon's Economy: Wages

pink tulips
The Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm in rural Clackamas County. (Oregon State Archives Photo)
Oregon began a new three tier minimum wage rate on July 1, 2018. The tiers vary by geography, with the highest rate of $12 per hour within the Portland urban growth boundary, a standard rate of $10.75 per hour in other areas of the state, and a rate of $10.50 per hour in designated non-urban counties. The minimum wage will increase on July 1, 2019 to a standard rate of $11.25, a rate of $12.50 within the Portland urban growth boundary, and a rate of $11 in designated non-urban counties. Oregon’s minimum wage will increase by $0.50 or $0.75 each year through 2022, depending on the area. Starting in 2023, Oregon’s minimum wage will be adjusted annually according to the increase in the U.S. Consumer Price Index. 

Although Oregon has a higher minimum wage than most states, workers in Oregon tend to work fewer hours per week, and average wage earnings are below the national level. Workers in Oregon averaged $983 in weekly earnings in 2017, which is below the national average earnings of $1,065 per week.

Oregon workers earned an annual average of $51,132 in 2017. The pay workers earn varies widely by industry. The average annual pay in the information industry was $80,174, the most of any broad sector, followed by federal government ($74,982), wholesale trade ($70,299), manufacturing ($68,157) and professional and business services ($67,895). The lowest earnings were at jobs in leisure and hospitality, where pay averaged $21,381 per year.

The average wage for an industry does not reveal how many low- or high-wage jobs are in an industry. Roughly 35% of Oregon jobs have an average wage of less than $15 per hour and another 19% are between $15 and $20 per hour. The remaining jobs pay at least $20 per hour.

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