Oregon’s minimum wage will remain at $9.25 in 2016. State Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian sets the minimum wage each year, based on the movement of the federal Consumer Price Index (CPI).
"Although the Consumer Price Index went up slightly, it wasn’t enough to trigger an increase in Oregon’s minimum wage. Because of that, it’ll be harder for Oregon’s lowest wage earners and their families to keep up with the rising cost of goods and services," Avakian tells KBND. "That’s just one reason why we need to look at increasing Oregon’s minimum wage above the poverty line for a family of four, right away."
For the last several years, Avakian has called for a boost in the minimum wage, saying the current rate translates to less than $20,000 a year for a full-time Oregon worker. According to national statistics, 80% of minimum wage workers are at least 20 years of age, and nearly two-thirds are women.
The Consumer Price Index tracks inflation but does not take into account in local factors, like rising housing costs in areas like Central Oregon.