Tim Gordon (KGW)
PORTLAND, Ore. (KGW) — Starting July 1, the minimum wage in Oregon will go up 70 cents an hour.
Oregon has three levels of minimum wage: the standard rate, a lower rate for rural areas and a higher rate for the more expensive Portland metro area.
Currently, the minimum rates across the state break down like this:
- $12.50 an hour in rural Oregon
- $13.50 an hour, considered the “standard rate” for more populated areas
- $14.75 an hour for the Portland metro area
Starting in July, everyone goes up 70 cents an hour, bringing the new minimum wage rates to:
- $13.20 an hour in rural Oregon
- $14.20 an hour, considered the “standard rate” for more populated areas
- $15.45 an hour for the Portland metro area.
State data shows only one-in-20 Oregonians make minimum wage. A recent study by National Low Income Housing Coalition shows Oregon renters must make $29.72 an hour to afford a two-bedroom apartment. The figure is about seven dollars less than the average hourly rate of Oregon renters.
KGW went to the Sellwood-Moreland Neighborhood to see how a raise would play, and found two baristas at Blue Kangaroo Coffee Roasters who make minimum wage plus tips.
“It is hard. I would say you need a couple roommates for sure or support from family or friends,” said barista Caden McFarland. “I definitely think working minimum wage, you cannot go out and get a place for yourself at all.”
“Seventy cents could make a difference in a day, yeah so over time it’ll be nice, definitely,” said barista Isabella Blair.
Sitting in front of the coffee roastery was one couple who appreciates the need for a raise, based on inflation.
“But do businesses have a problem then because can they afford employees when they start raising the minimum wage? So it’s tough on both sides,” said Sandra.
The challenges businesses are still facing with costs and trying to hire is real, that’s why fast food places and others advertise wages dollars above the minimum wage.
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