DENVER (KDVR) — The Boulder County commissioners’ office said Friday that it will introduce a new hourly minimum wage beginning January 2024.
Boulder County is 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.
The City and County of Denver was the first local government to implement a local minimum wage, which passed in 2019 and took effect on Jan.1, 2020.
Earlier this year, the City of Edgewater became the second local government to pass a local minimum wage, which will begin on Jan. 1, 2024.
A 2023 minimum wage report from the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment shows that the local minimum wage in Denver has had positive impacts on the local economy, outpacing the rest of the state in jobs, wage growth and sales tax revenues.
In 2021 and 2022, the unemployment rate in Denver dropped more than in other jurisdictions in the state.
Each year since Denver has had 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.
Additionally, in 2021 and 2022 Denver outshined the state’s growth in per capita state sales tax revenue.
The action in Boulder County was a response to the needs of the lowest-paid workers in the face of the rising cost of living. The press release said it will increase the spending power of those workers, leading to more money being spent on essentials in the local economy.