Missouri workers making the minimum wage will receive an automatic increase on Wednesday of 15 cents an hour, to $7.50 an hour, which is 25 cents more than the federal minimum wage.
The state minimum increased to $7.35 an hour this year as the result of a 2006 ballot initiative that tied increases in the state minimum wage to inflation. Missouri voters approved the issue by a margin of 3-to-1.
Lara Granich, director of Missouri Jobs with Justice, an organization that pushed for the indexed minimum wage, said the increase is welcome but that the minimum wage remains woefully low. The Missouri minimum-wage increase would result in an annual income of $15,600 for a full-time worker.
Rob O’Brian, president of the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce, said that for several years, there was no inflation, so the minimum wage didn’t increase. “People got used to that,” O’Brian said.