As We Bid Farewell to 2008 …and Oregon

By December 31, 2008Economy

Another Christmas/New Year’s vacation in Oregon nearly done, and the state never disappoints in supplying examples of shooting itself in the economic foot.

From The Bend Bulletin:

Oregon’s minimum wage — already one of the highest in the nation — increases from $7.95 to $8.40 per hour on Thursday, and while a boon to some workers, the new rate likely means higher prices for food, gas and other services.

The 5.4 percent jump in hourly minimum pay is an automatic cost-of-living increase written into the 2002 ballot measure. The increase makes workers at the lower end of the wage scale marginally more expensive compared to higher-paid employees, many who are having their pay frozen or cut. Wonder if some of these minimum-wage workers will lose their jobs instead of getting paid more.

The Oregon Restaurant Association, which is going to ask the Legislature to remove the automatic COLA this year, notes that Oregon does not allow a tip credit. From more from ORA, see this. Also relevant is this from The Oregonian, “Portland’s restaurant scene in trouble

Elsewhere, in tourism communities like Port Orford on the southern Oregon Coast, first high gas prices and now the recession have just hammered small business owners — many who rely on minimum-wage employees.

There are many nice things to be said for Port Orford, though.

Full-scale shot here.

And for a rainbow over the railroad bridge at Reedsport, go here.

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