Tuesday, August 21, 2018
Special interest group: Minimum wage increase in Missouri would benefit workers, small businesses
Washington, D.C.—A new report by the National Employment Law Project highlights the positive impact that raising Missouri’s minimum wage to $12 an hour would have on both small businesses and workers.
Missouri’s minimum wage is currently $7.85 per hour, which amounts to $16,328 for year-round, full-time workers. Raising the state’s minimum wage to $12 per hour would not only mean a much-needed raise for thousands of Missouri workers, it would also boost sales for small businesses by increasing consumer spending, as low-wage workers are, out of necessity, most likely to spend any additional money they make.
A higher state minimum wage could also significantly reduce expensive turnover costs for small businesses by improving worker retention—and extensive research shows that improving pay can increase productivity and improve performance. The new report also highlights key studies from the more than 25 years of economic research finding that states can raise their minimum wage without reducing employment.
“Polls of small business owners around the country show that small businesses support raising the minimum wage,” said Christine Owens, executive director of the National Employment Law Project. “Small business owners understand what economic research has shown: Raising the minimum wage means better business by boosting consumer spending, by reducing expensive turnover costs that plague low-wage industries, and by improving productivity and customer service.”
This month, Missouri’s Secretary of State officially certified Raise Up Missouri’s proposed ballot initiative to gradually raise Missouri’s minimum wage to $12 an hour by 2023 statewide. Missouri voters will now have the opportunity to vote yes this November on Proposition B to bring a much-needed wage increase to 677,000 Missouri workers.
Missouri Business for a Fair Minimum Wage, a growing group of over 375 Missouri businesses supporting an increase in the minimum wage, has expressed their support for the measure “because it’s good for business, customers and our local economy.” (https://www.businessforafairminimumwage.org/Missouri-Sign-On-Statement).
Missouri stands to join a growing number of jurisdictions that have taken steps to raise wages. Faced with state and federal inaction, rising living costs, and declining paychecks, more and more states and cities are taking action to raise the minimum wage at the state and local level.