Despite warnings from AIM, minimum wage hike passes

Missourians voted to increase the state’s minimum wage in the November 6, 2018 general election. The first hike adds 75 cents per hour effective January 1, 2019, then will increase the minimum wage by 85 cents per hour each year for the next four years. Missouri’s minimum wage would grow to $12 an hour by 2023 under the measure, then would be indexed for inflation for 2024 and thereafter:

Missouri Minimum Hourly Wage

Currently: $7.85

1/1/2019: $8.60

1/1/2020: $9.45

1/1/2021: $10.30

1/1/2022: $11.15

1/1/2023: $12.00

1/1/2024: $12.00 plus CPI (inflation)

 

 

Because Proposition B is a state statute, it is possible that lawmakers could alter the proposal, but given the overwhelming approval of the initiative, that is not likely anytime soon.

“Essentially, voters’ passage of a mandate increasing minimum wage by 50% in Missouri over the next five years will hurt lower wage workers in the end,” said Ray McCarty, president and CEO of Associated Industries of Missouri and a vocal opponent of the minimum wage hike. “Employers will need to cut hours or numbers of minimum wage jobs to balance the books because, as we all know, money still doesn’t grow on trees and the additional money that will be paid to minimum wage workers must be made up somewhere. Also, kiosks, self-checkout machines, and similar automation becomes more attractive as labor costs rise, so look for an increase in the number of machines replacing some lower wage workers. Finally, this increase in minimum wages will cause a ripple effect that will increase wages for higher level workers also. This could lead to inflation that also ends up hurting lowest wage workers the most.”

The Show-Me Institute estimates 11,000 jobs will be lost as a result of the misguided hike in minimum wage. Read more and see their study here.