Skip to main content

Denver mayor signs minimum wage increase into law

Published on December 5, 2019

Denver skyline, 2011.
Denver skyline, 2011. Image Credit: Hogs555. CC ASA 3.0 Unported

Before Mayor Michael Hancock signed the minimum wage ordinance into law on November 27, there was pushback from small-business owners and restaurants who don’t agree with the increase.

“Nothing’s easy,” Hancock said. “This is not an easy ordinance.”

But before controversy in Denver, Seattle had the same worries in 2015.

“We got involved initially by the request of our city council,” said Dr. Jennie Romich, an associate professor at the School of Social Work and an adjunct associate professor at the Evans School of Public Policy & Governance at the University of Washington.

Seattle’s City Council wanted Romich and her colleagues at University of Washington to look into the impacts of the minimum wage increase in Seattle almost 5 years ago.

“We think that the minimum wage probably slowed down job growth a little bit,” she said. “This was in the context of a booming Seattle economy which I think is very similar to what’s happening in Denver.”

Romich said it wasn’t easy for small-business owners, but they overcame it. And while restaurants threatened to leave, most didn’t.

“My overall takeaway is that the economy is resilient and that both employers and the economy as a whole adapted to the minimum wage,” she said.


Continue reading at NBC 9 News.

Originally written by Katie Eastman for NBC 9 News.
Search by categories

Twitter Feed