Eugene, Ore– When we ring in the New Year, about 100,000 Oregonians will see a boost in their paychecks.
The state’s minimum wage is increasing 15 cents an hour to $9.10. The increase is to compensate for inflation. It’s a late holiday gift for thousands of workers.
“I’m excited of course, a bigger paycheck is always nice,” said Victoria Mariano, a bartender at Turtle’s Bar and Grill in Eugene.
Small business employers however are bracing for the increase.
“It’s going to be difficult. We’re going to really have to watch the labor hours and work a lot of hours myself,” said Buddy’s Diner owner Chelsea Navaro.
State officials say the increase will boost the economy. But University of Oregon economist Tim Duy says the increase is too small to make much of an impact. He says minimum wage workers who work 40 hours a week will get an extra $6 a week. That’s an additional $312 a year.
When the increase takes effect, Oregon will have the second highest minimum wage in the country.