Rogue Valley Minimum Wage Earners Get Raise to $10.25 per Hour

by Guy Tauer

July 3, 2017

Rogue Valley’s minimum wage increases on July 1, 2017 to $10.25 as well as in other areas of the state considered “other areas,” those areas that are neither Portland UGB ($11.25) or “nonurban areas” ($10.00).

Oregon’s minimum wage levels were set by Senate Bill 1532 in 2016. The minimum wage increases on July 1 each year through 2022. There are three tiers of step increases based on geography. Oregon’s minimum wage levels were set by Senate Bill 1532 in 2016. The minimum wage increases on July 1 each year through 2022. There are three tiers of step increases based on geography.
Beginning in 2023, minimum wage in all tiers will be adjusted for inflation. This means the minimum wage will maintain purchasing power after the last step increase in 2022.

Estimate for Jobs Affected by 2017 Increase

We typically receive a number of requests for an estimate of the number of jobs affected by minimum wage increases. While this is tricky because we do not know how many jobs, let alone minimum wage jobs, there will be in Oregon on July 1, 2017, we can use past data to estimate how many jobs the minimum wage increase will directly affect this year.
Our best way to do this is to look at how many jobs paid less than the new minimum wage level in the third quarter of last year. In other words, we count the number of jobs that would have been affected if the minimum wage increase set to happen on July 1, 2017 was applied to jobs in July, August, and September of 2016.

In the third quarter of 2016, about 301,000 Oregon jobs paid below the new minimum wage scale. The Rogue Valley had 18,758 jobs that paid below $10.25 in the third quarter of last year: 13,692 in Jackson County and 5,066 in Josephine County.

It is likely that the minimum wage increase on July 1, 2017 will affect at least as many jobs as we saw at or below the new minimum wage last year. Since the Rogue Valley’s job growth has been strong over the year, there is potential for the number of jobs affected to be greater than 18,758. However, not all jobs are subject to the minimum wage and workers in these jobs may continue to earn less. A list of exempt jobs is available from the Bureau of Labor and Industries. These factors impact the estimate of the number of jobs directly affected by the minimum wage increase on July 1.

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

Minimum Wage Jobs by Industry

Each year, we calculate the percent of jobs in broad industry categories by wage level for Oregon counties. These estimates are not exact. The methodology might overstate the number of jobs in the lower-wage ranges in metro-area counties and understate the number of lower-wage jobs in non-metro counties. For all industries in the Rogue Valley, about 44 percent of total records come from employment that exists in the county, but is initially reported from a headquarters company located elsewhere. Also, we don’t have break-out of jobs that paid less than $10.25 per hour in the third quarter of 2016, so we use the less than $10.00 per hour figure for an approximation on how many jobs by industry will be subject to a wage increase on July 1, 2017.      

In Jackson County, leisure and hospitality had the highest percent of total jobs that will see higher pay on July 1, about 30 percent of all jobs paid less than $10.00 per hour. Nearly one out of five retail trade jobs will see an hourly wage increase to at least $10.25 per hour with the latest minimum wage increase. These two industries also had the greatest net number of jobs subject to a higher minimum wage, about 4,100 and 3,000 jobs, respectively.
Between 5 percent and 10 percent of jobs in private educational services; other services; professional and business services; and information paid less than $10.00 per hour last summer, so those will likely see a bump to $10.25. Both professional and business services and health care and social assistance had about 600 jobs paying under $10.00 and subject to the minimum wage increase. Construction; wholesale trade; transportation, warehousing, and utilities; information; private education and health services; and state government all had relatively few jobs paying less than $10.00 in the third quarter of 2016. That group of industries all had fewer than 100 jobs paying under $10.00 in Jackson County.

Industries in Josephine County with the greatest number of below $10.00 jobs were leisure and hospitality (1,508) and retail trade (1,062). Those two industries also had the first and third highest percent of total jobs that paid under $10.00. Another industry with a high percent of sub $10.00 jobs was private education services, but those were relatively few jobs (50) that will likely be impacted by the minimum wage increase. In other services nearly one out of five jobs paid less than $10.00 – a higher percent of total jobs than neighboring Jackson County. For the rest of the industries, the proportion of jobs paying under $10.00 was similar to Jackson County.

 


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