Boulder County to Introduce Local Minimum Wage in 2024

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For Immediate Release:
August 4, 2023

Boulder County Commissioners' Office
Gloria Handyside, 303-441-1622

Boulder County to Introduce Local Minimum Wage in 2024

Businesses and Residents Invited To Share Views on Long-Term Strategy for Wages in Boulder County

Boulder County, Colo. -- The Boulder County Commissioners will introduce a new hourly minimum wage in unincorporated Boulder County, which will see the county’s local minimum wage rise to 15% above Colorado’s 2023 minimum wage on Jan. 1, 2024. The move, which would bring the minimum wage to $15.70/hour, is being made in response to the needs of unincorporated Boulder County’s lowest paid workers in the face of the rising cost of living.

In 2019, Boulder County supported the state legislation that empowers counties and municipalities to set their own minimum wage by up to 15% per year above the state minimum wage. The City and County of Denver implemented a local minimum wage in 2020. Denver’s minimum wage is currently 27% higher than Boulder County’s current minimum wage.

Why a Local Minimum Wage?

The rising unaffordability of Boulder County is something which residents often raise with the Boulder County Commissioners. The commissioners believe quick action is needed to address rising costs and economic hardship facing residents and that increasing the spending power of low hourly wage households leads to more money being spent in the local economy on essentials, such as housing, childcare, transportation, and food.

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) recently issued the 2023 Minimum Wage Report, which indicates that in the three years since Denver implemented a local minimum wage, the city did not suffer from economic stagnation or growth in unemployment. In that three-year period, Denver outpaced the rest of the state in jobs, wage growth, and sales tax revenues.

Provide Feedback on Long-Term Strategy for Wages

To respond to the rising cost of living, the county continues to consult with local municipalities and neighboring counties to work towards consistency in the region and reinforce our community’s ability to attract and retain a locally qualified workforce, reduce competition across the region for workers, and contribute to the quality of life for many area workers. The county is aware of the many pressures on local workers and businesses alike and looks forward to learning more as economic conditions evolve and future plans are considered.

The county is looking for feedback on the ongoing approach to wages in future years. Feedback can be shared with the Boulder County Commissioners by email or through an online survey which will be available shortly in English and Spanish.

Listening Sessions for Business Community

In addition to written feedback, the county invites the business community to attend online listening sessions with Commissioner Claire Levy, Chair of the Board of County Commissioners:

  • Mountain/rural small employers
  • Employers (general)
  • Small employers in specific industries (restaurants, nonprofits, employee-owned, etc.)

Dates and registration details to be announced shortly. Sign up to receive registration links when available.

Town Hall: October 12 – Niwot 

The commissioners will host an in-person Town Hall event on Thursday, Oct. 12, at 5:30 p.m. at Left Hand Grange (195 2nd Ave, Niwot, CO 80544). Residents and businesses are welcome to attend and share comments and questions in person.

Public Hearing: November 2, 2023

The Boulder County Commissioners will hold a public hearing on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023. Public comment can be shared in-person (Commissioners’ Hearing Room, 1325 Pearl St, Boulder), virtually via Zoom, or by phone. Registration links and further details will be available in the Commissioners’ Advance Agenda on Friday, Oct. 20. Sign up to receive the Advance Agenda.

Collage of all three Boulder County Commissioners