Missouri set to increase minimum wage by 15 cents

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COLUMBIA - The minimum wage is set to increase by fifteen cents across Missouri at the start of the new year, raising the hourly rate to $7.85.

However, many employees in Columbia will not notice a difference in their wallets as most restaurants and service jobs already pay their employees above minimum wage.

KOMU 8 spoke with a McDonalds manager who wanted to be anonymous and she said that even their fifteen year old staff members make above minimum wage.  

After checking a handful of businesses, KOMU 8 only found two businesses in Columbia that still pay their employees minimum wage. 

"Taco Bell and Burger King those are the only ones I know of," Ashley Hall, a former Taco Bell employee who now manages the Break Time on Brickton Road.

"I believe minimum wage will disappear soon," Hall said. "It's hard to keep somebody when they know they can literally walk a few blocks down the street and make more money than they are with you."

Some Columbia residents do still work in positions that pay minimum wage. Manager of the Burger King on Conley Road, Robert Lair said few of his employees still make minimum wage but some still do.

"I am glad that the wage is going up, even if it's small," Lair said. "We try to increase their pay after a while but for some this is all they can make. The pay raise is long overdue in my opinion."

Chauncey Howard who is also a manager at the Conley Road Burger Kind said that no one can survive on anything less than minimum wage. 

"I don't know what they judge the lowest rate by, but we can only get what they decide to give us," Howard said. "We try to promote our employees pretty quickly, this will help move them up in our business."

The minimum wage in Missouri has risen every year for the past five years. It is up 50 cents from $7.35 in 2013.