On January 1, 74,000 low-wage workers in Colorado will get a 3.8 percent raise when the state's minimum wage goes up by 28¢ to $7.64 per hour. For employees who work full-time all year, this amounts to $582 more per year.
Voters approved Amendment 42 to Colorado's constitution in 2006, raising the minimum wage and requiring that the wage to be adjusted each year by the rate of inflation in Colorado. Inflation increased by 3.8 percent between July 2010 and June 2011, according to the Boulder-Denver-Greeley Consumer Price Index.
Colorado's minimum wage will increase by 12¢ next year, rising to $7.36, and that's good news not just for hard-working Coloradans but the rest of the state as well.
A calculation based on this year's inflation rate, an update of a formula approved by voters in 2006, is the reason for the wage increase, but the impact goes far beyond number-crunching. Workers and families in every community of the state will feel the benefits of this small but important change.
DENVER – When Coloradoans voted to tie the state's minimum wage to inflation, they were trying to make sure low-wage workers did not fall too far behind the cost of living. But their vote has had an unintended consequence: Colorado plans to lower its minimum wage next year because of falling inflation rates, becoming the first state in the nation do so.