By Taxpayers Association of Oregon Foundation,
Oregon and a half dozen other state and local communities raised their minimum wage July 1, although the federal minimum wage remains at $7.25 an hour. While it may be good news for workers, small business owners are likely to feel the pinch of paying more for labor.
Oregon’s minimum wage rose from $13.50 to $14.20 an hour, while in nearby Nevada, the minimum rose from $10.50 to $11.25 an hour for employees without health benefits and from $9.50 to $10.25 for those who receive medical benefits.
Several municipalities also increased their minimum wages—in Washington, D.C., from $16.10 to $17 an hour, with the base for tipped workers jumping from $6 to $8 an hour; in Chicago, to $15.80 for companies with 21 or more workers and $15 for those working at smaller businesses; in San Francisco, to $18.07 an hour; and in Montgomery County, Maryland, to $15.70 for businesses with 51 or more workers, $15 for those companies with 11 to 50 employees, and $14.50 for small employers.
Small businesses already struggling to compete with larger companies may be forced to raise prices of products and services simply to cover the extra expense. Teenagers and seasonal workers may receive higher wages but find their hours cut as business owners grapple to balance their budgets, according to Ernie Goss, a Creighton University economics professor.
By one rough comparison, Oregon’s top minimum wage of $15.45 is nearly $5.00 more than the United States average state minimum wage law ($10.51) as determined by Minimum Wage laws by state on 1/1/2023 entering the year and adjusted for known increases this summer (MD,NV,CA,CT,IL).