While voters opted to raise the Colorado minimum wage in 2006, the new wage still isn’t nearly enough for a single individual to be economically independent in the state, according to a new study.The current minimum wage in Colorado is $7.02, but it is not enough for an individual to be self-sufficient in any county in the state, according to a report (PDF) released by the Colorado Fiscal Policy Institute, an economic think tank that works to assist low-income individuals and families.
On Wednesday, the institute released a lengthy study reporting what it takes to make it in each Colorado county when necessities like housing, food, and health care are added into the equation.
Assuming an individual only works one job full time at the state’s minimum wage, it is impossible to be self-sustaining in any county, meaning that public and private assistance is not utilized.
In 2006, Colorado voters passed Amendment 42 by 53 percent, increasing the state minimum wage to $6.85 per hour, adjusting the number for inflation in later years. The federal minimum wage lags behind at $5.85 per hour.
Along with the report, the Institute also released a self-sufficiency calculator so Colorado Web users can measure their own cost of living.