Oregon's New Minimum Wage - Pacific Standard

Oregon's New Minimum Wage

In general, states with higher costs of living also have higher wages, but the relationship isn't perfect—and it works out well better than average, for Oregonians.
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Officials in Oregon approved a minimum-wage hike yesterday that will make the state's lowest legal wage the highest in the nation. That said, Oregon's high minimum wage is not unusual for the West Coast, which, along with the Northeast, tend to have the highest minimum wages:

Of course, in those same regions, a dollar doesn't tend to go as far as it does in states with lower minimum wages:

(Map: Tax Foundation)

(Map: Tax Foundation)

But the relationship isn't perfect, which leads to interesting differences between states. In 2015, for example, the average income in California and Nebraska was the same, but because the cost of living in Nebraska was lower, that income went farther there, as the think tank Tax Foundation points out:

(Map: Tax Foundation)

(Map: Tax Foundation)

By this measure, Oregon does well, with both America's highest minimum wage and a slightly higher-than-average purchasing power per dollar.

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