Stay Up-to-date on OR and WA minimum wage

Updated Feb 13, 2024

tldr; Washington Minimum wage, as of January 1, 2024 the minimum wage will be $16.28 per hour. This is up from a previous rate of $14.49 per hour

Oregon’s Minimum wage for Hood River or Wasco Counties, is $14.20 as of July 1, 2023.

Oregon

It’s been happening every year since 2016: Oregon’s minimum wage bumps up on July 1. In March of 2016, Oregon passed a minimum wage law that would increase the state’s minimum wage every year until 2023.

The novel thing about Oregon’s minimum wage law is that it’s tiered based on geographic location. The state’s lawmakers recognized that enforcing a minimum wage that made sense for the Portland Metro Area on rural areas would cause undue hardship for small businesses. Enter the three classifications: PDX Metro, Standard, and Non-Urban counties.

Source: https://www.oregon.gov/boli/workers/Pages/minimum-wage-schedule.aspx

What happens now that we’re past 2023? According to BOLI:

“By April 30th of each year, the Bureau will calculate an adjustment of the standard minimum wage rate. The adjustment is based on the increase, if any, from March of the prior year to March of the current year in the Consumer Price Index – U.S. City Average for All Urban Consumers for All Items prepared by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Any wage increase will be rounded to the nearest five cents and takes effect July 1st.”

What Columbia River Gorge employers in Oregon need to know:

Hood River and Wasco County are classified as “Standard” meaning the min wage is currently $14.20

Employers should budget for the minimum wage to increase. As of the writing of this blog (Feb 2024) the Consumer Price index is 3.1%. If you run a small business it’s recommended you keep an eye on announcements from BOLI and follow general economic trends with podcasts such as Marketplace.

Keep in mind that if you offer a minimum wage job your employees can get more than $2 an hour more across the river in Washington. While there are fewer employers on that side of the Columbia Gorge, this difference may be enough to sway some entry-level workers to find employment across the river. If you’re a Wasco or Hood River County employer with min-wage or entry-level jobs, especially non-tipping jobs, you may want to consider adopting a higher min starting wage to stay competitive with Washington businesses.

Washington Minimum Wage

For our Klickitat County neighbors across the river, Minimum Wage is $16.28 per hour.

Washington has also adopted a inflation – adjusted minimum wage policy. The cost-of-living adjustment will also be based on the Consumer Price Index but Washington will look at the data from Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) instead.

New upcoming minimum wage is announced September 30 to take effect January 1 of the following year.

This also does not allow employers much time to adjust to new wages. It’s also recommended for Washington employers offering min wage to plan for and anticipate increases.

Sources:

Minimum Wage in Oregon: https://www.oregon.gov/boli/workers/Pages/minimum-wage-schedule.aspx

Minimum Wage in Washington: https://www.oregon.gov/boli/workers/Pages/minimum-wage-schedule.aspx

Don’t forget to update your required worksite posters too!

Washington: https://lni.wa.gov/forms-publications/f700-074-909.pdf

Oregon: https://www.oregon.gov/boli/employers/Pages/required-worksite-postings.aspx

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