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Economy, Business, Finance, and Labor
Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Oregon Legislature. This is a venue for political and policy coverage of the state government in Salem and its impact on the people of Oregon.

Oregon, Washington Minimum Wage Set For Increase

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The minimum wage is going up by 15 cents an hourin both Washington and Oregon to $9.47 in Washington and $9.25 in Oregon.

The new year will mean higher pay for low-wage workers in Oregon and Washington. The minimum wage in both states is set for an increase.

The minimum wage in both Washington and Oregon is tied to inflation. It's going up by 15 cents an hour in both states: to $9.47 in Washington and $9.25 in Oregon.

But the Oregon Center For Public Policy’s Tyler Mac Innis said that’s not enough.

"It translates to $26 a month in the pockets of full-time working Oregonians that are working at the minimum wage,” he said. “And $26 a month just isn't enough to get ahead."

Some Oregon lawmakers have come out in favor of a proposal to raise the state's minimum wage to $15 an hour. That's what it will be in Seattle as a new law is phased in there over the next six years.

Some minimum wage workers in the Seattle suburb of Seatac already make $15 per hour. Meanwhile, Idaho's minimum wage won't change in 2015. It's the same as the federal minimum wage: $7.25 per hour.

Business groups say a much higher minimum wage will lead to layoffs and higher prices for consumers.