Missouri minimum wage won’t rise next year

From the St. Louis Post Dispatch

For the first time in four years, Missouri’s minimum wage won’t automatically rise in 2016.

Voters decided in 2006 that the wage floor should be adjusted annually for inflation, and that has meant a modest increase most years. This year, Missouri’s minimum wage rose 15 cents to $7.65 an hour.

The adjustment is determined by each July’s reading of the Consumer Price Index for urban wage earners and clerical workers, or CPI-W for short. The state typically announces the next year’s minimum wage in October or November, but the data it needs became available Wednesday.

The federal Labor Department announced that the CPI-W fell 0.3 percent between July 2014 and July 2015.

Missouri law says the minimum wage can decrease when inflation is negative, but the CPI-W didn’t fall quite enough for that to happen. A 0.3 percent reduction would take the minimum down to $7.627, and rounding to the nearest nickel keeps it at $7.65.

The next move may be up to voters.

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