Oregon’s minimum wage won't increase in 2016 - KPTV - FOX 12

Oregon’s minimum wage won't increase in 2016

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Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian announced Wednesday that Oregon’s minimum wage will remain at $9.25 in 2016.

Each year, Avakian calculates the state's minimum wage by measuring increases in the Consumer Price Index, a figure the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes to track inflation.

That often leads to incremental increases in the wage, but not so next year.

The announcement likely is a disappointment to those who were hoping another increase could help offset the growing costs of housing and other expenses.

According to a press release from the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries, about 100,000 workers, or 6 percent of the state’s workforce, currently earn minimum wage. For full-time workers, that translates to earning $20,000 a year.

Avakian took the opportunity to call for state officials to raise the wage rather than leaving it tied to the CPI.

"It's time to take action on wages," Avakian said in the release. "The reality is that Oregon's wage floor is not keeping pace with the rising cost of rent, child care and other expenses.  We should raise our state's minimum wage so that people working full-time can afford to provide for their families."

Avakian cited statistics from the Economic Policy Institute and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics stating that roughly 80 percent of minimum wage-earners are at least 20 years old and 62 percent are women.

Avakian said he is the first statewide official to call for a minimum wage increase.

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