DENVER (KDVR) — The Boulder County Commissioners unanimously voted Thursday to raise the minimum wage in unincorporated Boulder County.
The minimum wage will increase in increments each year to reach $25 per hour by 2030.
Earlier this year, Boulder County became the third local government unit to introduce a minimum wage since the passing of HB19-1210, which allows local governments in Colorado to establish a minimum wage for workers and employers in its jurisdiction.
Boulder County asked the public for their input last month concerning wages beyond 2024. More than half of the respondents chose the option for the minimum wage to increase to $25 by 2028.
The law allows local governments to raise the minimum wage by 15% above the previous years.
Beginning in 2024, the minimum wage in Boulder County will be $15.69 per hour. After that, according to a release from the county, it will increase bit by bit each year to $16.57 per hour in 2025, $17.99 per hour in 2026, $19.53 per hour in 2027, $21.21 per hour in 2028, $23.03 per hour in 2029 and reach $25 per hour in 2030.
The county said it plans to continue amending the minimum wage beginning each January 1 of the following years to keep pace with the year-over-year increase in the Consumer Price Index.
Raised minimum wage could benefit local economy
According to a presentation from Thursday’s hearing, a family of four needs the equivalent of four full-time jobs at minimum wage to provide the basic needs in life.
The City and County of Denver was the first local government to implement a local minimum wage, which took effect in 2020 and has had positive impacts on the local economy.
Since then, according to a 2023 minimum wage report from the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, Denver has outpaced the rest of the state in jobs, wage growth and sales tax revenues. Unemployment in Denver dropped more than in other jurisdictions in the state in both 2021 and 2022.
Each year since Denver implemented a local minimum wage, it has seen strong wage growth with weekly earnings increasing over that of Colorado. Meanwhile, other jurisdictions were stagnant or fell further behind statewide values.
According to Ordinance 2023-04, the purpose of the increased minimum wage is to ensure that all workers within Boulder County are paid enough relative to the cost of living.
The first change will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2024.