Raising Colorado’s minimum wage to $12 by 2020 would lift many of the state’s working women and their children out of poverty. That’s according to a new study published by the Women’s Foundation of Colorado on Tuesday. Both the full report and an executive summary are available online.
With Colorado voters set to weigh in on a ballot measure to raise the wage this November, the report examines how increases to the minimum wage impact earnings, poverty, and gender and racial equality.
The research also investigates the potential impact on child care affordability and families’ eligibility for public support programs and highlights policy considerations for Colorado lawmakers on how to best support Colorado women and families in achieving economic self-sufficiency.
Among the report’s findings:
- The proposed $12 per hour minimum wage will boost income for approximately 290,000 women.
- Incomes will increase for 20 percent of all households in Colorado, including 200,000 households with children.
- Most of the increased earnings will impact workers over 20 years of age and households earning less than $60,000 annually.
- Only a very small number of Coloradans may lose benefits if the minimum wage is increased and in most of those cases, women and their families still come out ahead because the increase in income will be greater than the value of benefits they may lose.
As a partner of the Women’s Foundation of Colorado and a coalition partner in the Colorado Families for a Fair Wage campaign, the Colorado Center on Law and Policy believes the report further exemplifies why Coloradans should vote to raise the wage. This blog posting, by CCLP’s Michelle Webster, explains why the ballot measure under consideration by Colorado voters is both smart and fair.
Along with strengthening the financial security of many Colorado families, the measure would spur economic growth and increase consumer spending throughout the state.
Earlier this week, Economist Chris Stiffler, of the Colorado Fiscal Institute, issued a brief that dismantled claims from a conservative think tank that raising wages would negatively impact the economy.
In the weeks and months leading to the November election, CCLP will continue to build the strong factual case for raising the wage and encouraging Coloradans to vote yes for Colorado’s future.
– By Bob Mook