Opponents of the November 7th Minimum Wage Increase initiative are raising concerns over what they see as future minimum wage hikes above and beyond the actual cost of living increases in Missouri. Approval of Proposition B would raise the minumum wage to $6.50 an hour, with future increases tied to the cost of living as defined by the Consumer Price Index. Associated Industries of Missouri President Gary Marble, an opponent who is part of the Save Our State’s Jobs Coalition, says using the term CPI is purposely vague because there are subdivisions within the CPI. There is the CPI-U, which includes most lines or work and the CPI-W, which excludes many workers such as the self-employed or those involved in agriculture. Sara Howard, with the Give Missourians a Raise Coalition, says the CPI-W is more reflective of cost of living increases because it takes into account the costs that wage earners – as opposed to salaried employees – face and how those costs increase from year to year. Howard adds there is little difference, on an on-going basis, between the two figures.
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