Missouri Minimum Wage Increases Next Year

Nov 15, 2012

The minimum wage will increase by 10 cents next year. That's the kind of increase the Missouri Chamber of Commerce would like to stop.

In a 2006 ballot measure, Missouri voters linked the minimum wage with inflation.

During the past few years, the state minimum wage has equaled the federal minimum, but inflation will push it higher to 7 dollars and 35 cents next year.

Chamber of Commerce spokeswoman Karen Buschmann says some employers might leave the state in search of lower rates.

"You will see all those business that can move, if it makes business sense for them to move, then they will do that,” Buschmann said.

Buschmann says the Chamber will pursue legislation that will remove the link, but that failed in the state Senate last year.

"Something as important as minimum wage. It shouldn't be tied to something that automatically rises,” Buschmann said.

Missouri Jobs With Justice is a state group advocating for a higher minimum wage.

Director Lara Granich says higher wages will not force businesses to leave.

"All the research shows that that does not bear out,” Granich said. “That's just sort of a scare tactic in the public debate to try and keep the minimum wage down.”