Minimum Wage Rises on July 1, Reaching $11.50 per Hour at the South Coast

by Guy Tauer

July 2, 2020

In the third quarter of 2019, the Oregon Employment Department estimates there were about 2,572 payroll jobs that paid minimum wage at the South Coast, at the time $11.00 per hour. Overall, minimum wage jobs comprise 7.5 percent of payroll jobs, with the portion of the total a bit higher in Curry County (9.3 percent) than in Coos County (7.0 percent). As of July 1, 2020, that minimum hourly rate for most South Coast jobs rises to $11.50 per hour, an increase of about 4.5 percent. With overall U.S. consumer prices essentially flat over the year ending in May 2020, this increase of 4.5 percent also represents a real purchasing power increase of about the same amount. The increase the prior year was also a 50-cent increase, or a gain of about 4.8 percent. Oregon’s minimum wage levels were set by Senate Bill 1532 in 2016. South Coast minimum wage earners will continue to see 50 cent per hour annual increases each July 1st, until 2022 when the minimum wage will be $12.50. After that, the wage will be adjusted each year based on the U.S. consumer price index (CPI).
We do have estimates of minimum wage jobs by industry and county for Oregon. A few notes of caution. These are estimates, not exact counts. The methodology might overstate the number of jobs in the lower-wage ranges in metro-area counties, or understate the number of lower-wage jobs in non-metro counties. For all industries at the South Coast, about 40 percent of total records come from employment that exists in the county, but is initially reported from a headquarters company located elsewhere.
These estimates show about two-thirds of total South Coast minimum wage jobs are in two industries – leisure and hospitality and retail trade – with about 1,020 jobs in leisure and hospitality and about 450 jobs in retail trade paying minimum wage in 2019. Other industries with the most minimum wage job were local government (290) and health care and social assistance (290). Minimum wage jobs make up about 19 percent of all leisure and hospitality jobs and about one out of 10 retail trade and information industry jobs.

As some of the industries impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic are also industries with many minimum wage jobs, including retail trade and leisure and hospitality, next year’s data will reveal how the pandemic has impacted employment by wage level, including the number of jobs paying minimum wage.

See our report Oregon’s Minimum Wage Jobs: Facts, Figures, and Context for historical information about Oregon’s minimum wage jobs.

See the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries website for the Oregon Minimum Wage Rate Summary.

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