As you know, the Oregon legislature passed a stepped increase to the minimum wage that took effect July 1, 2016 and ran through 2022, bringing the minimum wage up to $14.75/hr in the Portland Metro area. Beginning this July, the rate will be adjusted annually for inflation with the new rate starting July 1, 2023 at $15.45. Washington also passed similar legislation which has boosted their minimum wage to $15.74/hr. This minimum wage increase in Washington and Oregon is more than 30% over the past 5 years.

Although the minimum wage rate does not directly impact us, it indirectly affects our wages. We have always paid above minimum wage for our entry-level labor positions. Our work is more challenging and requires more effort and training than most traditional minimum-wage jobs. Our current entry-level wage is $19.25 and our average wage is $21.37. Our wages have also increased 30% over the past five years and 12% over the past two years due to the increasing minimum wage and historically low unemployment levels due to the strong economy.

We are at record low unemployment which makes finding and keeping employees difficult. The low unemployment has driven up wages for all service and construction industries. Low unemployment impacts our wages just as much as the minimum wage increases.

We work hard to maintain a great work environment and that has helped us attract and retain a great staff. We also use the H2B Visa program for our seasonal labor. We hear about other contractors who cannot perform their work due to their struggle with labor. We feel somewhat lucky but we know it's more than luck, it's our focus. And we are proud to have again been selected one of the Best Companies to for in Oregon.

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