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(Jefferson City) – On January 1, Missouri’s minimum wage will increase by 10 cents to $7.35 per hour, benefiting an estimated 79,000 low-wage workers in the state.

Missouri’s minimum wage increase means an extra $190 per year in wages for the average directly affected worker, and the increased consumer spending generated by the minimum wage hike will boost GDP by more than $8 million, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Economic Policy Institute. Missouri is joined by nine states – Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Montana, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington – that will also raise state minimum wage rates on New Year’s Day, boosting wages for nearly one million workers nationwide.

Missouri’s January 1st minimum wage increase is the result of a ballot proposal approved by voters in 2006 that provides for annual rate adjustments to keep pace with the rising cost of living. An estimated 72,000 workers in Missouri will be directly impacted as the new minimum wage rate will exceed their current hourly pay, and 7,000 more will see a raise as pay scales are adjusted upward to reflect the new minimum wage, according to an analysis of government data by the Economic Policy Institute. Sixty-three percent of these low-wage workers are adults over 20 years old; 70 percent work 20 hours per week or more; 44 percent have at least some college education.

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