​​​​​​​Oregon AFL-CIO Responds to 2018 Minimum Wage Increase

PORTLAND, ORE -  On July 1, 270,000 working Oregonians[1] earning minimum wage will receive a raise.  The Oregon AFL-CIO, the statewide federation of unions, applauds this increase and remains committed to ensuring all workers have a pathway to prosperity. 

“We are thankful and appreciative of the vision and leadership shown by Governor Kate Brown and by the Oregon legislature in passing this groundbreaking minimum wage increase two years ago,” said Oregon AFL-CIO President Tom Chamberlain.  “At the same time, it is not getting any easier for working people to make ends meet in Oregon.  Rent is on the rise.  Housing is not keeping up with demand.  We have to keep pushing forward to make things better for everyone.”

According to a recent report, there is not a single U.S. state where a worker earning minimum wage can afford a two bedroom apartment.  In Oregon, the average cost to rent a one-bedroom apartment is now too expensive for an average full-time worker, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

“Raising the minimum wage is a strong step forward, and each year’s increase is a reminder of that, but we have to do more,” remarked President Chamberlain. “The Oregon AFL-CIO is committed to fighting for a fair economy in Oregon where workers can afford a place to live, food on the table and the basics like transportation, medical care and childcare.  At the same time, working people across the country and in Oregon are organizing unions in their workplaces in growing numbers because the most effective way for workers to be paid a fair wage is by standing together in a union. Oregon has made great strides, including fair scheduling laws and paid sick days in addition to the increase in the minimum wage, but we have a long way to go. We must do more to ensure families can support themselves. Oregon must act to enable access to paid family and medical leave and work to ensure that as new protections are put into place, workers have the ability to enforce them if their employers aren’t following the rules.”

The minimum wage increase is split into three regions and rates:

·        Region 1, Rural Counties: from $10 per hour to $10.50

·        Region 2, Statewide: from $10.25 per hour to $10.75

·        Region 3, Portland Urban Growth Boundary: from $11.25 per hour to $12.00

Workers earning the minimum wage should check their paystubs following the July 1st increase and contact Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries Wage and Hour Division if they have any questions about the increase or to report an employer who is not increasing wages in accordance with the law.


[1] According to data provided by the Oregon Employment Department