The Tigard Chamber since last year has taken a no position on increasing minimum wage in Oregon. We are concerned about the impact to business, our residents and our economy. We are opposed to a significant increase in minimum wage for the following reasons.
1.Raising the minimum wage would raise costs for fixed income seniors with no ability to pay for increases
2.Oregon economists estimate increasing Oregon’s minimum wage to $12/hr will cause a reduction of 52,000 jobs statewide
3.There will be a negative impact on small business because they don’t have the ability to absorb the increased costs
4.Minimum wage workers at $12/hr would no longer qualify for Oregon Health Plan and would be forced to pay additional health care costs wiping out the increase in their earnings.
5.Increases in minimum wage would force non-profit charitable organizations to cut back on services
Business leadership did come to the table to work on alternative minimum wage proposals which were circumvented by the Governor’s own Minimum Wage Proposal. Read about business efforts HERE which included representatives from the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce, Northwest Grocery Association, Oregon Business Association, Oregon Health Care Association, Oregon Association of Nurseries, Portland Business Alliance
Some background facts on Oregon Minimum Wage:
(1)Oregon’s minimum wage is currently:
- $9.25/hour. It is automatically indexed each year based on Portland consumer price index (CPI).
- $2.00/hour more than the federal minimum wage.
- the 8th highest state minimum wage in the US.
(2)Oregon minimum wage statistics (Current Population Survey Data by US Census and US Dept of Labor):
- Only 8% of state’s workforce earns minimum wage
- Only 30% of minimum wage earners are single adults, or 2.4% of the state’s workforce
- Only 15% of minimum wage earners are single parents, or 1.2% of the states workforce
- Average income of an Oregon family with a minimum wage earner is $42,000/yr
The answer to low wages & poverty? Get Oregon’s economy moving, make it easier for business to grow and create family wage jobs here in our local communities.
(4)The Governor’s Minimum Wage Proposal will:
- Raise costs on fixed income seniors who can’t afford it
- Cause a reduction of 55,000 jobs that our local communities desperately need
- Severely damage small business ability to compete and grow in Oregon because they can’t absorb the costs
- Make it harder for people to qualify for the Oregon Health Plan and cause them to lose additional income on increased health care and daycare costs.
- Would force local nonprofit charitable organizations to cut back on critical services.
Click the links for more information on positions on minimum wage by business groups previously working on a minimum wage proposal including the Portland Business Alliance and the Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association (ORLA)