Fri December 30, 2011

Minimum Wage Earners Get a Boost in 2012

This weekend, Colorado and seven other states will automatically adjust the hourly minimum wage rate for workers. Colorado's 28 cent increase—to $7.64 per hour—will be the largest ever since voters approved Amendment 42 in 2006.

That’s in contrast to 2010 when the minimum wage actually went down by 4 cents. Cher Haavind, spokesperson with the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, says the rise can be seen as a positive sign that the economy improving.

“It’s not necessarily a surprise, but 28 cents is higher than what we’ve seen,” she says.

While the automatic annual changes are popular with many employees, some business owners say the changes drive up their costs, which are passed along to consumers.

Amendment 42 ties minimum wage to the Consumer Price Index—which tracks cost of living. States with the highest automatic increases are Washington, Florida and Vermont.