Since 2001, Oregonians’ average wages have risen faster than inflation. At least this is true for workers covered by unemployment insurance — close to 90% of workers in the state. Their wages gained more than 4% over the past year compared to 2.7% inflation. And it wasn’t only the top earners who saw real pay raises. The gains were enjoyed across all wage groups. Median wages climbed by at least 9% from 2001 to 2005 for the five earnings quintiles. This easily beat inflation of 7.5% as indicated by the Portland-Salem consumer price index. However, some industries lagged inflation. Between 2001 and 2005, average wages rose only 1% in the fast-growing construction industry and only 2% in transportation- equipment manufacturing. In contrast, average wages climbed 20% in financial activities and 21% in hospitals.
— Art Ayre, state employment economist
Oregon Employment Department