Despite Oregon having the 2nd highest minimum wage in the nation, low-wage workers in the state are finding it increasingly difficult to make ends meet. That's the finding of a new report from the University of Oregon.
More than 400-thousand Oregonians earn less than 12 dollars an hour at jobs in retail, food service, health care and janitorial. Many of these workers rely on public assistance in order to pay rent and feed their families, according to the study.
Raahi Reddy is with the Labor Education and Research Center at the U of O. She says the workers they interviewed for the study are trying to improve their situations.
Reddy: "For many of them it's becoming really an impossible situation. Whether they get extra education or certification or go back to school that the jobs that are out there are not able to sustain their families."
Reddy says the study is aimed at giving policy makers tools to help improve the plight of low-wage workers. A new coalition of community and labor organizations has been formed to lobby for changes at the legislative level.