Colorado's minimum wage rises to $7.02 per hour starting Jan. 1, 2008
Press coverage: Restaurauteurs fear impact of wage hike, by Pat Ferrier, Fort Collins Coloradoan, Dec. 16, 2007
The increased pay rate has allowed those working at minimum wage to keep pace with inflation, said Rich Jones, director of policy and research at the Bell Policy Center in Denver.
From that standpoint, they are better off, he said. Those making just more than the minimum wage likely received a pay bump as employers sought to preserve pay differential between jobs, he said.
Press coverage - U.S. minimum wage rises, but state's $6.85 is already a dollar over federal level, by Joanne Kelley, The Rocky Mountain News, July 24, 2007
After not budging for a decade, the U.S. minimum wage now stands at $5.85 an hour, up 70 cents from $5.15. While the federal level will increase by the same amount twice more in the next two years, Colorado's will continue to rise with the local pace of inflation.
"Colorado's minimum wage will probably increase a bit faster than the federal level," said Rich Jones, director of research at the Denver-based Bell Policy Center.
News from the Economic Policy Institute - President Bush signed the the federal minimum wage increase into law on May 25, raising the wage from $5.15 to $7.25 in a three-step process. The first step of the increase, from $5.15 to $5.85, will occur on July 24, 2007. The second step to $6.55 will occur on July 24, 2008, and the final step will be to $7.25 on July 24, 2009.
To see how the federal minimum wage increase will impact minimum wage rates in the 50 states, check out EPI's new issue brief, What a new federal minimum wage means for the states, by Liana Fox.
In November 2006, Colorado voters approved Amendment 42 to raise the minimum wage to $6.85 an hour and index it to inflation. The new wage took effect Jan. 1, 2007. The wage will be increased annually, starting in 2008, based on inflation in the previous year.
Commentary - Point / Counterpoint, Rocky Mountain News, Sept. 23, 2006
"New law would help tousands keep up with rising cost of living," by Wade Buchanan
"Few would benefit, many hurt by this expensive, draconian measure," by Bill Artist, Respect Colorado's Constitution