The state of Missouri will increase its minimum wage from $ 6.55 per hour to $7.05 per hour, effective January 1, 2009. This increase is larger than in previous years due to the high rate of inflation for last year.
Last year’s increase was just 15 cents per hour, according to the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations. According to Todd Smith, Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DOLIR) Director, “In August, the Department released preliminary data projecting an increase to Missouri’ s minimum wage by 40 cents. A review of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for July 2008 confirms the Missouri minimum wage rate will increase to $7.05 effective January 1, 2009.”
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes the CPI, the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers, as the basis for calculating the new rate. Under Missouri state statute, Section 290.502.2, the Director of the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations must adjust the minimum wage of the state according to the change in the cost of living.
The state of Missouri is one of the few states that allows the minimum wage to go down in accordance with the cost of living.
Employers should note, however, that businesses with annual earnings of less than $500,000, including retail and service businesses, are exempt from the Missouri state minimum wage law.