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Economic indicators -- Analysis, Economic conditions -- Oregon


Analysis of direct and "ripple" effects of Oregon's recent minimum wage increase in the long-term care industry.

Minimum wage proposals have dominated recent policy debate in Oregon, culminating in the February 2016 legislative session that included the passage of Senate Bill 1532, a three-tiered minimum wage increase to be phased in between 2016 and 2022. Barring changes in other states, the law will give Oregon the highest minimum wage in the country. While the immediate impacts of the law on workers earning near the minimum are substantial and relatively clear-cut, businesses face less certain outcomes as the delicate balance between labor costs, output prices, and hiring adjusts to the changes. The long-term care (LTC) sector, which includes nursing facilities, residential and assisted living facilities, and in-home care agencies, is comprised of many businesses that are highly exposed to minimum wage increases. In Oregon in 2014, roughly 5.3% of workers in the long-term care sector earned the state’s minimum wage, but many more earn near the minimum – in the range that will be covered by the proposed increases. At the same time, the sector’s ability to adjust to higher labor costs– through oft-predicted changes to prices, hiring, or service levels, is particularly constrained by multiple factors


This report was researched and produced by the Northwest Economic Research Center (NERC).

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Portland State University. College of Urban and Public Affairs. Northwest Economic Research Center