The Missouri Department of Labor announced on Monday that the minimum wage, effective January 1st, will be $8.60 per hour. All private businesses are required to pay the new rate with the exceptions of retail and service businesses whose annual gross sales are under half-a-million dollars. Tipped employees are to receive at least fifty-percent of the minimum wage plus any amount necessary to bring the total hourly to the $8.60 level. Under the new law, approved at the November ballot boxes, the minimum wage will increase by 85-cents per hour each year through 2023. Public employers are exempt from the new law which also mandates that the state’s minimum wage be equal to, or higher than, the federal minimum wage.