Sep 17, 2012 03:33 PM EDT
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Oregon To Increase States Minimum Wage To $8.95 In January

By Donovan Jackson

In order to compete with inflation and bring stability to the state, Oregon is making the necessary adjustments to counter against the continuously failing economy.

Brad Avakian, Comissioner of the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI), today announced the minimum wage rate that will take effect on January 1, 2013: $8.95 per hour.

The 15-cent increase tracks a 1.7% increase in the Consumer Price Index from August 2011. Speaking at a press conference in Springfield, Avakian called the increase necessary to help Oregon families make ends meet in tough times.

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"Oregonians recognize the rising cost of living facing every one of us, and our strong minimum wage law is essential insurance that Oregon workers and their families can maintain their purchasing power and continue to contribute to our local economies," said Avakian.

State law, enacted by Oregon voters in 2002, directs the BOLI Commissioner to adjust the minimum wage for inflation every September, rounded to the nearest five cents. The adjustment accounts for inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), a statistic published by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics measuring the average change in prices over time for a fixed "market basket" of goods and services, such as food, shelter, medical care, transportation fares and other goods and services people purchase for day-to-day living.

"Especially in a tough economy, it's critical that we not let working families, who are already struggling to tread water, drift into even deeper water," said Bob Baldwin, president of Lane Central Labor Council. "Increasing the minimum wage is fundamentally necessary to preserve the purchasing power of low-wage Oregonians, who would otherwise see the same paycheck no longer covering the same expenses."

 

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