GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - Colorado employees working on minimum wage will now get paid even less.
Colorado officials confirmed Tuesday the state will become the first to lower its minimum wage because of a falling cost of living.
Gilbert Lujan with the Mesa County Workforce Center says it's tough right now and people can't seem to catch a break.
"In the scheme of things, it's going to be more of a hardship on those people earning minimum wage," says Lujan.
In 2006 Colorado voters approved an adjustable minimum wage with the hope was wages would go up, not down. Tuesday the state Department of Labor and Employment ordered the wage down from $7.28 to $7.24, which is lower than the federal minimum wage of $7.25.
Colorado is one of a handful of 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's the first decrease in any state since the federal minimum wage law was passed in 1938 and is expected to take effect Jan. 1.