In Colorado, the 14¢ increase, to $7.78 per hour, will benefit 66,000 workers, according to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI). For employees who work full time, the increase means an additional $300 for the year.
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.
Most Colorado minimum-wage workers will see an increase of 11 cents an hour next year to $7.36, based on a small increase in the inflation rate.
The increase is meant to keep the real spending power of minimum-wage earners on pace with inflation – the general price movement of goods and services.
Last year, Colorado's minimum wage was cut from $7.28 an hour to $7.24 because of a drop in inflation. But most employers had to meet the federal minimum wage, which was $7.25 an hour, thus the 11-cent increase.
Steamboat Springs – The increase of Colorado's minimum wage won't impact workers in Routt County, Yampa Valley Partners Executive Director Kate Nowak said Monday.
Starting Saturday, the state's minimum wage work force saw an increase of 11 cents to its hourly earnings, bringing them to $7.36. The state's minimum wage in 2010 actually was $7.24, but because the federal minimum wage of $7.25 was higher, it took precedence. The minimum wage for tipped employees increased to $4.34 an hour from $4.22.
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.