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City of Denver minimum wage to increase $1 per hour beginning January 2024

Denver has lower minimum wage adjustment due to slowing inflation
Denver has lower minimum wage adjustment due to slowing inflation 00:24

The City and County of Denver's local minimum wage will increase $1 per hour to $18.29 from $17.29 beginning on Jan. 1, 2024. This is a lower minimum wage adjustment from the year before due to slowing inflation. 

The local ordinance requires annual adjustments to ensure wages keep up with Denver's cost of living.  For 2024's adjustment, the CPI-W for the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood area was 5.8%, less than the CPI-W of 8.94% for 2023. 


The minimum wage for tipped food and beverage workers will be $15.27 per hour provided they earn at least $3.02 in actual tips. 

"Denver thrives when our residents thrive, and this minimum wage adjustment serves as an important tool to help both our workers and businesses succeed in a competitive job market," Mayor Mike Johnston said in a statement. "This increase can help put money in the pockets of Denver workers, ensure everyone receives a fair wage, and help Denver remain an attractive job market for employees." 

Additional Information from the City and County of Denver:

The scheduled increase comes from the city's local minimum wage ordinance approved unanimously by Denver City Council in November 2019. The ordinance has helped stabilize minimum wage workers and their families who keep our city running but who might fall behind due to the rising cost of living and high inflation. 

Denver's local minimum wage is enforced by the Denver Labor Division of the Office of Denver Auditor Timothy O'Brien. Each year the offices of the Auditor, City Council and the Mayor collaborate to educate and spread the word about the local minimum wage coming into effect for the coming year to help employers plan and prepare. "Using an education-first approach to wage theft enforcement citywide is helping more people than ever receive the money they earned according to the law," Denver Auditor Timothy M. O'Brien, CPA, said.

More information about Denver's minimum wage is at

Background on the CPI Methodology Used to Calculate the Minimum Wage

The state legislation allowing local minimum wages in Colorado requires any wage changes to take effect on January 1, the same date adjustments are made to the statewide minimum wage. In order to meet this deadline, a CPI calculation available mid-year of the year prior to the change in wage is required. Denver adopted the approach used by the State of Colorado, which compares the first half of the prior year to the first half of the current year to calculate an adjustment in time for a fall announcement. To set the 2024 minimum wage, Denver's Department of Finance compared the CPI-W for the first half of 2023 with CPI-W for the first half of 2022. The corresponding percentage increase was applied to the current wage of $17.29 to calculate the new, CPI-W adjusted wage for 2024.

Considerations for Employers

Consistent with state law, Denver's local minimum wage allows a reduced wage to be paid to tipped workers in the food and beverage sector only. Employers in the food and beverage industry may claim up to $3.02 per hour for a tip credit, if they have documentation showing their employee received at least that amount in tips. If the full tip credit is applied, the minimum wage rate would be $15.27 per hour. However, the tip credit does not apply to workers in other industries, even if they sometimes receive tips.

Employers with locations near the border of the City and County of Denver: "Employers should not rely on their mailing address to determine whether or not to pay Denver's local minimum wage," Auditor O'Brien said. "We recommend using our regional address finder on our website to check if work was performed within the boundaries of the City and County of Denver."

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