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Missouri's Minimum Wage Set To Go Up On Jan. 1

(via Flickr/Tracy O)

Missouri’s minimum wage will increase on Jan. 1 to $7.50 an hour -- 25 cents higher than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.

Missouri’s minimum wage is increasing by 15 cents an hour, compared to 2012, because of an escalator clause in the 2006 state law – overwhelmingly approved by voters – that allowed for separate increases in the state’s wage law, rather than linking it to the federal wage.

For tipped employees, the new minimum wage is going up 12 cents, to $3.75 an hour.

An analysis of census data by the nonpartisan Economic Policy Institute estimated that the state’s increase will benefit about 104,000 Missouri workers.

Missouri is among 12 states that will increase their minimum wage on Jan. 1. Also as of New Year’s Day, 21 states will have minimum wages above the national level. The federal minimum wage can be increased only by legislation. The last federal hike was approved by Congress in 2007.

Groups backing Missouri’s hike, including most unions and the regional advocacy group Jobs With Justice, say that even with the increase, the minimum wage is still below what would be a living wage.

Opponents of the hike. which include some business groups, say it hurts job growth and puts Missouri at a disadvantage with neighboring states that have a lower minimum wage.

Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.

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