PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — With inflation at its highest in 40 years, a new report highlights how raising wages and ending subminimum wages would help working Oregonians.
According to Oxfam America, an organization that “fights inequality to end poverty and injustice,” 634,735 workers in Oregon make less than $15 per hour. However, it added that about a half million of workers in Oregon benefited from an increase in the state minimum wage in 2022.
When it comes to gender, 36.4% of working women in Oregon earn less than $15 per hour compared to 22.8% of working men, said the organization.
The report noted that 51.6% of women of color in the state earned less than $15 per hour followed with 50.8% of the Hispanic/”Latinx” population in Oregon. In third place, 43.7% of the Black/African American population in Oregon earned less than $15 per hour.
“When wages are lifted for workers, their families benefit, too,” said Oxfam America on its website. “Millions of the workers who would benefit are parents, and a vast majority of single parents would benefit from the bump to $15 per hour.”
More than half of the single parents in Oregon earn less than $15 an hour, said the report, with a third of working mothers in the state also earning less than that dollar figure per hour.
“A common misperception is that many low-wage jobs are filled by teenagers who add little to the family’s income. The reality is that workers of every age would benefit from a universal wage of $15 per hour,” addressed the report.
According to the organization, 559,017 of adults in Oregon compared to 75,718 of teenagers are benefiting from wage increases.