The Missouri Chamber is concerned about the announcement by the Missouri Department of Labor (DOL) that Missouri’s minimum wage will increase. Currently, Missouri’s minimum wage is $7.25 per hour and will increase to $7.35 per hour on Jan. 1, 2013.
“At a time when Missouri businesses are struggling to provide jobs in today’s difficult economic climate, it is concerning news that labor costs will increase and Missouri businesses will become less competitive compared to other surrounding states,” said Daniel P. Mehan, Missouri Chamber President and CEO. “This announcement underlines the need to break Missouri’s minimum wage away from the automatic escalator to which it is currently tied. It causes uncertainty and positions Missouri to eventually raise its minimum wage to uncompetitive levels.”
The increase in the minimum wage for Missouri places it in a minority group of states with minimum wage rates higher than the federal minimum wage. Illinois is the only contiguous state with a higher minimum wage rate than Missouri, placing Missouri at a competitive disadvantage with surrounding states.
Missouri’s minimum wage law allows an automatic adjustment that could result in a higher minimum wage in Missouri than the federal minimum wage or the minimum wages set by surrounding states. As the minimum wage increases, the ability of employers to continue to employ workers is damaged – hitting entry level jobs especially hard.