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Missouri minimum wage increases in 2013

The Missouri minimum wage will increase from $7.25 to $7.35 in 2013.

December 31, 2012|by Linda Russell, KY3 News | lrussell@ky3.com

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.-- If you're a minimum wage worker in Missouri, you'll get a raise in the new year.  The rate is going up a dime to $7.35 an hour.

At Heritage Cafeteria, management says only a few entry level workers actually make minimum wage, while everyone else earns more.   Still, they're prepared for an increase in the payroll. 

Established in 1960, Heritage Cafeteria has been around for a few increases in minimum wage. 

"When I first started, it was $1.40 an hour.  Yeah, it's a little bit different," said manager Don Evans.

The cost of living has also increased, and food is just one expense.  James Masterson is happy to see the minimum wage rise to $7.35. 

"I think it should be even more," said Masterson.

Most employees make above minimum wage, so Heritage Cafeteria will only bump up a few. 

"It's not really a problem," said Evans.

Still, it adds to the expenses. 

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"We're going to have to pay more taxes I'm sure, plus the minimum wage, yeah, it affects us somewhat.  Labor is our biggest expense in our business, so any increase in that is going to affect our bottom line," Evans said.

Kayla Donohue, a Heritage Cafeteria employee, makes more now, but started at minimum wage. 

"It probably wasn't as hard for me since I'm not on my own," Donohue said.

At 17, Donohue can get by, but she thinks of those with more responsibility.

"I imagine it's a lot harder for people with families who have a lot more to provide for, making such little money no matter how much they work; it's got to be hard on them," said Donohue.

Most are happy to hear minimum wage workers will be getting a raise. 

"Because they need the extra money.  I think most people do," said customer Mary Moss.

"I think that a lot of people who do make minimum wage work harder than most people think, so I think they deserve to have a little higher pay," Donohue said.

The Missouri Chamber of Commerce argues that raising Missouri's minimum wage above the federal wage and surrounding states could put it at an uncompetitive level for businesses.

The minimum wage rate in Arkansas will stay the same, but it varies by business.  According to the state's Department of Labor website, all employers have to pay at least $6.25 an hour.  If the business makes more than half a million dollars in a year, it has to pay the federal minimum wage, which is a dollar more.
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Minimum wages in other states

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