Beleaguered employers who struggle to make ends meet in tough times can take a breather this year as ten states that tie their minimum wage into the inflation rate will be holding rates steady this year. Reason: There is no inflation; rather there’s deflation.
States use different statistical measures and time-frames (July to July, September to September) to gauge the inflation rate, but eight states do not allow the minimum wage rate to decrease in times of deflation. Missouri and Colorado do, however.
Missouri’s minimum wage is now at $7.25 an hour, the same as the federal minimum wage, so any decrease in the minimum wage would affect only indigenous firms (which are few and far in between) not subject to federal mandates.
Colorado’s minimum wage is $7.28, so theoretically it could lower that to the federal level–and even lower for the state-only rate. A spokesmen for the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment said the state is considering leaving the $7.28 rate unchanged, however.
States that legislatively set their minimum wages could certainly opt to raise their rates this year.