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Minimum Wage, Minimum Worry

Colorado businesses see little impact from higher minimum wage


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ILLUSTRATION BY DREW THURSTON

Colorado’s minimum wage has increased 19.4 percent in the span of two years, but business leaders – at least the 234 surveyed for the Leeds Business Confidence Index – see little impact on their businesses. The latest increase of $0.90 took effect Jan. 1 and brought the state’s minimum wage to $11.10 per hour. The same $0.90 hike was instituted at the outset of 2018, boosting the previous minimum from $9.30 to $10.20.

According to the survey, a product of the CU Leeds School of Business’ Business Research Division, 87 percent of respondents said the 2018 increase had no impact on their business either because they were already paying that wage or because their businesses generally do not have minimum-wage positions.

Similarly, 85 percent of respondents expect this year’s increase to have no impact on their business. According to the Leeds report, this high percentage partially reflects the high urban representation in the survey panel, as well as the industry mix. The report added that the measures to offset the wage increases noted most often by business leaders included absorbing the cost from profits, increasing prices, decreasing staff and reducing staff hours.

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Mike Taylor

Mike Taylor is the editor of ColoradoBiz magazine. Email him at mtaylor@cobizmag.com.

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