The New Year brings welcome news for more than 100,000 Missouri workers in the form of an increase in the state’s minimum wage. However, advocates for workers say it will take much more to move Missouri forward. A law passed by voters in 2006 mandated an annual cost-of-living adjustment in the state’s minimum wage, which took the rate from 7.35 per hour last year to 7.50 per hour as of January first. Laura Granich of Missouri jobs with justice says the 15-cent per hour increase is a step in the right direction, but doesn’t go far enough.
Granich says in addition to a more substantial increase in pay, lifting the state’s working class families out of poverty and helping them regain economic stability will take a multi-pronged approach.
Missouri is one of 13 states with minimum wage increases that took effect January first, and one of 20 states with a rate above the federal minimum wage of seven dollars and 25 cents per hour.
THE NEW YEAR BRINGS WELCOME NEWS FOR MORE THAN 100-THOUSAND MISSOURI WORKERS IN THE FORM OF AN INCREASE IN THE STATE’S MINIMUM WAGE. HOWEVER, ADVOCATES FOR WORKERS SAY IT WILL TAKE MUCH MORE TO MOVE MISSOURI FORWARD. A LAW PASSED BY VOTERS IN 2006 MANDATED AN ANNUAL COST-OF-LIVING ADJUSTMENT IN THE STATE’S MINIMUM WAGE, WHICH TOOK THE RATE FROM SEVEN-35 PER HOUR LAST YEAR TO 7-50 PER HOUR AS OF JANUARY FIRST. LAURA GRANICH OF MISSOURI JOBS WITH JUSTICE SAYS THE 15-CENT PER HOUR INCREASE IS A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION, BUT DOESN’T GO FAR ENOUGH.