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State minimum wage to rise again

Missouri’s minimum wage continues to rise ahead of the federal minimum and will soon be higher than any other state minimum wage surrounding Missouri aside from Illinois.

Starting on January 1st, the Missouri minimum wage will rise to $7.50 from the current $7.35. The federal minimum wage is currently $7.25.

This is the second raise in the wage in the last two years. Under a ballot initiative passed by Missouri citizens in 2006, the state minimum wage is tied to rises in the consumer price index set by the U.S. Department of Labor. From 2009 to 2012, the wage held steady at $7.25. The wage can also go down with the CPI, though it has never done so.

“As the minimum wage continues to increase, the ability of businesses to hire people at that wage decreases,” said Ray McCarty, president of Associated Industries of Missouri. “The raising of the bottom of the scale wage is a ripple effect that pushes all wages higher, cutting the bottom line of employers correspondingly and reducing Missouri’s ability to compete for good employers and the good jobs they bring.”

McCarty says his association is also casting a wary eye on Washington D.C. where legislation that would raise the federal minimum wage to more than $10 an hour is under debate.

“If that bill were to pass, the result would be wide-spread layoffs across the board,” said McCarty.

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