New Colorado Minimum Wage Went into Effect January 1


The new Colorado minimum wage rose on January 1, 2022, to $12.56 or $9.54 for those receiving enough tips for total pay to meet or exceed the full minimum wage.

Annually inflation-adjusting the minimum wage is mandated by a section of the Colorado Constitution that Colorado voters adopted in a 2006 ballot measure (with the exception of 2017-20, when the minimum wage rose by larger amounts due to another ballot measure, in 2016, raising the minimum wage by 90-99 cents annually until it reached $12.00 by 2020).

“A new year, a new minimum wage! As we head into 2022, Colorado workers who work for the minimum wage are getting a raise to $12.56/hour as the state builds an economy that works for everyone,” said Governor Polis. “My administration is committed to investing in workers and providing opportunities for everyone to succeed and grow their skills.”

Additionally, starting January 1, 2022, direct care workers funded with any state dollars working in-home and community-based settings will receive a minimum wage of $15 per hour.  In Colorado, 47% of direct care workers access some form of public assistance to meet their daily needs and 34% are involved with Medicaid. This raise was put forward by the Polis-Primavera administration and approved by the Joint Budget Committee and Chair Moreno.

Inflation for Colorado is calculated and published by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, and because the minimum wage inflation adjustment must be published by September each year, it is based on inflation from mid-year to mid-year. The 2022 minimum wage is therefore the 2021 minimum wage, increased by inflation from the middle of 2020 to the middle of 2021. Below is the Colorado minimum wage for the past decade:

Year Minimum Wage Increase from Prior Year Basis for Setting Minimum Wage
2011 $7.36 12¢ (1.7%) CPI-increased annually, by Colorado Constitution Article XVIII § 15.
2012 $7.64 24¢ (3.8%)
2013 $7.78 24¢ (1.8%)
2014 $8.00 22¢ (2.8%)
2015 $8.23 23¢ (2.9%)
2016 $8.31 24¢ (1.0%)
2017 $9.30 24¢ (11.9%) Set at $9.30 in 2017, then +90¢/year through 2020, by Amendment 70.
2018 $10.20 24¢ (9.7%)
2019 $11.10 24¢ (8.8%)
2020 $12.00 90¢ (8.1%)
2021 $12.32 32¢ (2.7%) CPI-increased annually, by Colorado Constitution Article XVIII § 15.
2022 $12.56* 24¢ (1.9%) *Not yet in effect; being published in proposed rules Sept. 30, 2021


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