Jan. 1 of 2021 not only marks the dawn of a new year, but also means the Missouri minimum wage will see an increase of 85 cents to $10.30 per hour.
The wage increase is a result of the effect of Proposition B passed in 2018, which will raise the state’s minimum wage by a fixed rate until 2023 when it reaches $12 per hour.
Two years ago, 62% of voters approved the legislation. Workers, business owners and supporters from across the state believe the time is right for an increase.
Cathy Sherwin is a student and working part-time at Dollar General in St. Louis, she said in a release that she was very adamant about getting Prop B passed, but didn’t know what to expect just two years after.
“This year, my co-workers and I have all been called ‘essential workers’ but still are only getting paid the minimum wage. I helped gather signatures and talk to voters to help pass Prop B in 2018. I had no idea then just how desperately Missourians would need this raise.”
Missouri will be one of 24 states in the U.S raising its minimum wage at the start of 2021.
It’s estimated it will give a raise to 282,000 workers directly and indirectly to another 250,000.
Wilson Vance is a leader with Missouri Jobs with Justice and organizer with KC Tenants. She says as the economy shifts and the country finds itself in an economic depression, people need a raise.
“It’s no secret that the jobs that pay the least are actually the essential jobs that we have been seeing people have to work,” Vance said. “When corporations call workers ‘heroes’ and claim that they are essential, we should be paying them as such.”
States who don’t have an established minimum wage or whose state minimum wage falls below the federal minimum wage are entitled to the federal minimum wage which currently sits at $7.25 per hour. President-elect Joe Biden has been in favor of indexing the minimum wage to the median hourly wage and even raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour. Both would allow, according to Biden’s campaign website, “low-wage workers’ wages to keep up with those of middle-income workers.”