Minimum wage workers in Colorado will see a one percent increase in their hourly wage in 2016. The Colorado Division of Labor has proposed to increase the minimum wage from the current $8.23 per hour to $8.31 per hour beginning January 1, 2016. The minimum wage for tipped employees will increase from $5.21 to $5.29 per hour. 

The Colorado Constitution mandates that the state minimum wage rates be automatically adjusted for inflation each year. The new wage rates for 2016 reflect that the consumer price index (CPI) for the Denver-Boulder-Greeley urban area for the first half of 2015 went up overall by one percent from the first half of 2014. The Bureau of Labor Statistics noted that higher costs for housing, up 5.5%, were largely responsible for the overall increase. Food prices rose 1.5 percent and other items were up 3.2%. Despite a 21.7% decrease in energy costs, the overall CPI for urban consumers was up one percent. 

Proposed Minimum Wage Order Number 32 will be up for comment at a public hearing on November 9, 2015, after which the Division of Labor will issue its final rule. Information about the hearing and submitting written comments is available on the Division’s website

As a reminder, Colorado’s state minimum wage rates apply if either of the following two situations applies to an employee: 

  1. The employee is covered by the minimum wage provisions of Colorado Minimum Wage Order Number 32; or 
  2. The employee is covered by the minimum wage provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.