Even though Missouri lawmakers passed a bill that essentially blocks the city of St. Louis from raising its minimum wage, economists are weighing in on how the region could be affected by increasing that rate to $10 an hour.
The state legislation awaits the signature of Gov. Eric Greitens. Meanwhile, Charles Gascon and James D. Eubanks from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis have co-written a research paper that examines several questions, including how many city residents would be directly affected by increasing the city’s minimum wage.
Gascon claims the number of residents that would be affected is under 10,000, which is less than other estimates that have been put together. A big reason is the difference between a resident and a worker. There are more non-resident workers in St. Louis than those who live and work in the city. He says adding that element to the formula brings down from the roughly 42,000 people working in the city for less than $10 an hour.
Gascon says that whether $10 would have the impact many people are hoping for depends on the definition of “impact.” If people assume the reason for a hike is to help low income residents, then fewer resident workers, compared to those who work in the city but live elsewhere, will feel the effect of a minimum wage hike.
Read more: St. Louis Public Radio