Colorado minimum wage will go up to $7.64 in January

Following a Colorado Department of Labor and Employment hearing today, the state minimum wage rate will increase from $7.36 to $7.64 an hour on January 1, 2012. The increase is directed by Amendment 42, a constitutional amendment passed by Colorado voters in 2006 that provides annual cost of living adjustments to the minimum wage. The minimum wage rate for Colorado’s tipped workers will increase from $4.34 to $4.62 an hour.

Someone working 40 hours a week for 50 weeks a year will earn $15,280 a year if working for Colorado’s new minimum wage.

“This is great news for the Colorado economy, workers and families,” said Linda Meric, 9to5 National Association of Working Women executive director. “A full-time minimum wage worker will take home an additional $582 next year to spend locally on basic necessities, which will help advance Colorado’s economic recovery,” she said in a press release.

“Wages are falling as a result of staggering unemployment, slow job creation, and declining unionization,” said Christine Owens, National Employment Law Project executive director. “These modest annual minimum wage increases are one of the few policies that counteract declining wage trends and prevent America’s lowest-paid workers from falling even further behind.”

Scot Kersgaard has been managing editor of a political newspaper, editor and co-owner of a ski town newspaper, executive editor of eight high-tech magazines (where he worked with current Apple CEO Tim Cook), deputy press secretary to a U.S. Senator, and an outdoors columnist at the Rocky Mountain News. He has an English degree from the University of Washington. He was awarded a fellowship to study internet journalism at the University of Maryland's Knight Center for Specialized Journalism. He was student body president in college. He spends his free time hiking and skiing.