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Colorado unemployment is super low, so why aren't wages going up faster? - Denver Post

December 22, 2017  |  The Denver Post  |  Link to article

Paul Aiken, Boulder Daily Camera

"Colorado’s economy, on the surface, is humming along with unemployment rates at historic lows and some of the strongest job gains in the country.

But a closer look shows that median hourly wages are stuck; many of the new jobs being added are low-paying; and thousands of working-age adults remain disengaged from the labor force, according to the State of Working Colorado report from the Colorado Center on Law and Policy.

'We have another year of strong job growth in the state and unemployment continues to drop. But the indicator of how the economy is performing for the majority of workers — wages — still isn’t moving,' said Michelle Webster, manager of research and policy analysis with the group, which advocates on behalf of low-wage workers.

In 2016, the median hourly wage in Colorado was $18.92, which is below the inflation-adjusted median wage of $19.70 in 2007 and 2 percent below the median wage in 2000, after adjusting for inflation. The national median hourly wage is $17.80.

Higher-wage workers have seen pay increases, but not robust ones. The top 20 percent of wage earners have seen their pay rise 6.3 percent since 2000, while wages for the top 10 percent of earners are up 12.2 percent."

This article originally published on The Denver Post on December 19, 2017. It has been formatted for publication on Together Colorado's latest news page.

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