Minimum wage increase takes effect July 1

Medford, Ore. – Minimum wage will be going up again as part of Oregon’s 6-year plan.

And the biggest thing on people’s minds is how it could affect the cost of living.

Local economist Guy Tauer said, “Most people earning minimum wage or close are in retail trade or leisure and hospitality so those are the industries that it will impact the most.”

And in the Rogue Valley, that’s a lot of people–roughly 4,000.

Supporters of the increase say prices locally are rising, as is housing.

Wages in Jackson County will increase to $10.25 an hour.

In rural areas wages will increase to a quarter less at $10.

But some argue that the need to increase wages is higher in rural areas.

Jesse Sharpe, organizer of 15 Now, said, “We always have a big focus on these urban areas but poverty is significantly more rampant in rural areas, wages are significantly lower, and often cost of living is almost equivalent.”

For now, wages will continue to rise over the next 6 years with the state’s current plan.

By 2022–the end of the 6-year plan–the minimum wages will be $15 in Portland, $13.25 in Jackson and Josephine counties, and $12.50 everywhere else in our region of the state.

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