Minimizing The Minimal


If you’re working for minimum wage in the state of Colorado you’re probably waking up with an even bigger frown than usual.

The state’s Department of Labor and Employment ordered the wage down from $7.28 to $7.24. That's lower than the federal minimum wage of $7.25, so most minimum wage workers will lose 3 cents an hour.


From the AP:

Colorado is one of 10 states where the minimum wage is tied to inflation. The indexing is thought to protect low-wage workers from having flat wages as the cost of living goes up.

But because Colorado's provision allows wage declines, the minimum wage will drop because of a falling consumer price index. It will be the first decrease in any state since the federal minimum wage law was passed in 1938.”

Wouldn’t it be great if they raised their top tax rate, too? Of course, but it's about as probable as a duet between Miley Cyrus and R. Kelly. And sadly, it’s not just those at the bottom of the pay scale taking pay cuts.

The New York Times reports:

In recent decades, layoffs were the standard procedure for shrinking labor costs. Reducing the wages of those who remained on the job was considered demoralizing and risky: the best workers would jump to another employer. But now pay cuts, sometimes the result of downgrades in rank or shortened workweeks, are occurring more frequently than at any time since the Great Depression.


State workers in Georgia are taking home smaller paychecks. So are the tens of thousands of employees in California’s public university system. The steel company Nucor and the technology giant Hewlett-Packard have embraced the practice. So have several airlines and many small businesses.

As you can see, everyone’s suffering together.

Have any of you found yourselves doing your job for less pay than before? If so, how do you cope with the additional stress of an even more restrained budget? Or are you simply happy to still be employed?


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Michael Arceneaux hails from Houston, lives in Harlem and praises Beyoncé’s name wherever he goes. Follow him on Twitter.