The Oregon legislature approved a law [documents] to create the highest minimum wage rate in the country Thursday. The system works according to the specific economic need in a particular region, taking the cost of living of each into account. This unique procedure makes Oregon’s the first proposal to pass rates not uniform across the state.The increases will take place over a six-year span, changing incrementally. The comprehensive legislation [press release] is a compromise in consideration of the needs of families working on minimum wage rates as well as the business that will have to increase payments in order to meet the new standards.
Oregon joins the company of 14 other states [Reuters report] that have also increased the minimum wage requirement. Massachusetts increased its rate [documents] to $10 per hour on January 1, as did California [text, PDF]. Most other state increased to slightly less than $10, like Arkansas [text, PDF] at $8. The national minimum wage rate is now over $9.