Colorado's minimum wage is now $7.64, an increase of 28 cents that took effect Sunday because the state links minimum wage to inflation.
The pay raise will affect about 74,000 people in Colorado. For a full-time employee, the raise means an extra $582 a year.
A woman who earns minimum wage at a convenience store tells The Denver Post the raise will help offset lost spending power. But the head of the Colorado Restaurant Association says it will squeeze restaurant owners who are also paying higher food prices.
Colorado's minimum wage also rose last year. Colorado is one of eight states that link minimum wage to inflation. In 2010, a lowered Consumer Price Index in Colorado caused a reduction in the minimum wage, to the federal minimum of $7.25.