Missouri Minimum Wage to Rise in January

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MISSOURI - The state minimum wage will rise to $7.35, up ten cents from the current wage per hour. Missourians voted in 2006 to have the state minimum wage be the same as the federal minimum wage, but it could be inflationary adjusted annually. This raise is due to inflation, based off the Consumer Price Index, which measures prices of services and goods.

THe Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry are critiquing the higher wage, saying it will put the state at a competitive disadvantage compared to neighboring states. Only Illinois has a higher minimum wage. Other critics say it will cause more competition for jobs and raise prices at smaller businesses.

Supporters of the higher minimum wage say that the few extra dollars will be put back into the economy because low wage workers have to spend it. Ten cents more an hour totals 4 dollars more a week and 208 dollars more a year. Some say that it still will not be a living wage for Missourians; Financial Planning Specialist Brenda Proctor said the living wage for Missourians is between eight and 22 dollars, depending on location.

Many have critiqued the federal minimum wage for not being adjusted for inflation. In 1980, the federal minimum wage was $3.10. Adjusted for inflation, that has a buying power of $8.71. That is more than a dollar more than the current minimum wage and still more than the new minimum wage for Missouri.