Every little bit helps…the Missouri Department of Labor announced, Monday, the minimum wage for 2018, effective January 1st, will be $7.85 per hour. The 7.85 represents an increase from the current 7.70 per hour. All businesses, except retail and service oriented with annual gross sales under $500-thousand, are required to pay the minimum wage. Employers are also required to pay tipped employees at least 50-percent of the minimum wage, or the amount necessary to bring the employee’s total compensation to the minimum. The minimum wage rate for Missouri is calculated once a year and can increase, or decrease, based on the cost of living. Missouri law does not allow the minimum wage to be lower than the federal minimum wage which is currently $7.25 an hour.