In an annual study of the cities with the highest and lowest real minimum wage, Pueblo came in 8th highest nationally for 2016 with a figure of $9.71 per hour.
The “real” minimum wage, according to SmartAsset.com, the organization that conducted the study, is the statutory minimum wage adjusted for cost of of living. The survey covered 141 of the largest cities in the U.S.
To show how it works, using Seattle as a 2015 example, the statutory minimum wage in August last year was $11 per hour. But the cost of living in the Pacific Northwest city was over 20 percent higher than the national average. “Thus, in terms of purchasing power, the minimum wage in Seattle is about $8.38. That is the ‘real’ minimum wage,” according to the survey, ranking Seattle only 37th highest on the chart for 2015.
According to the notation about Pueblo for 2016, the southern Colorado city’s cost of living index of 85 compared to an average 100 helped it crack the top 10 list.
Before anyone gets too excited, however, Pueblo’s statutory minimum wage of $8.31 per hour was the lowest on the list, according to SmartAsset. The low cost of living translated to an adjusted minimum wage of $9.71.