Minimum wage to increase to $7.63

Biggest jump since I-688 was introduced

The Department of Labor and Industries announced the state’s minimum wage will increase by 28 cents to $7.63 an hour beginning Jan. 1, 2006.

The increase is required by Initiative 688, which was passed by voters in 1998 and requires an annual adjustment according to the change in the federal Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers during the 12 months ended Aug. 31. That index, which is a national index covering the cost of goods and services needed for day-to-day living, increased 3.8 percent in the most recent period, versus 2.6 percent the previous year.

The 2006 increase represents the biggest jump since the introduction of I-688. Since 1999, the state’s minimum wage has increased by $1.93 from $5.70. In comparison, Oregon will increase its minimum wage by 25 cents to $7.50 an hour next year. Last year, the state’s minimum wage increased 19 cents to $7.35.