Historic Minimum Wage Increase in Oregon

On March 2, 2016, Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed the first geographically-tiered minimum wage hike in the country.  Senate Bill 1532 also gives Oregon the nation’s current highest projected state-wide minimum wage.1

The current minimum wage in Oregon is $9.25.  Beginning July 1, 2016, Oregon’s minimum wage rate will rise steadily each year through at least June 30, 2023.  Precisely how much the minimum wage rate will increase depends on where an employer is located within the state.  The tiered approach allowed lawmakers to account for a higher cost of living in the Portland metro area and a lower cost of living in rural parts of the state.

The following table is a summary of the increases and effective dates for each of the three geographic areas outlined in the new law:

Effective Date of Rate Increase

Base Rate

Exception:  Rate within Portland’s Urban Growth Boundary2

Exception:  Rate within Nonurban Counties3

July 1, 2016




July 1, 2017




July 1, 2018




July 1, 2019




July 1, 2020




July 1, 2021




July 1, 2022




After June 30, 2023, the base rate will be adjusted for inflation, with the Portland rate set $1.25 above the base and the nonurban county rate set $1.00 below the base.

Employers should review their payroll practices and, as with any minimum wage increase, implement any required changes to comply with each of the upcoming rate adjustments starting later this year.

See Footnotes

1 Some cities have recently raised the minimum wage higher than the projected rates established by Oregon’s new law.

2 An area encompassing the City of Portland and much of the greater tri-county area (Multnomah, Washington, and Clackamas counties) that is managed and periodically expanded by Metro, the Portland area regional government.

3 Baker, Coos, Crook, Curry, Douglas, Gilliam, Grant, Harney, Jefferson, Klamath, Lake, Malheur, Morrow, Sherman, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa, and Wheeler counties.

Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.