Workers making the minimum wage in Colorado will see a pay hike of 28 cents per hour on Jan. 1, 2012.
The state Department of Labor and Employment announced the increase from $7.36 to $7.64 an hour on Friday. The minimum wage for tipped workers will increase from $4.34 to $4.62 an hour for 2012.
Since voters passed Amendment 42 to the Colorado constitution in 2006, the state minimum wage has been subject to annual cost of living adjustments based on inflation in the Consumer Price Index in the Denver-Boulder-Greeley metro area.
Between Jan. 1, 2007, and Jan. 1, 2009, the minimum wage went up from $6.85 per hour — $3.83 per hour for tipped employees – to $7.28 per hour — $4.26 for tipped workers. The recession pushed the rates for 2010 to $7.24 per hour, $4.22 tipped, but in 2011 they rose 12 cents per hour.
The federal minimum wage rate remains at $7.25, where it has been since July 2009. Colorado is one of 14 states where the local minimum wage is higher than the federal rate.
A full-time worker — working 40 hours a week for 50 weeks — earning the new Colorado minimum wage will earn $15,280 next year, an additional $582 compared to the 2011 rate.
Annual income required for an individual to be above the federal poverty threshold for 2011 was $10,890, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.