Thousands of Missourians are starting the new year by earning more.  The state’s minimum wage has gone up by fifteen cents to $7.50 an hour.   Missouri is one of thirteen states in which the minimum wage is going up today. The new wage works out to annual earnings of $15,600, based on a forty-hour week with no vacation of sick days.  The federal poverty level for one person is $11,490 (the 2013 figure). 

Missouri’s minimum wage law, adopted by voters in 2006, includes an escalator clause that re-calculates the minimum wage annually based on cost of living factors. 

Some workers fall into a special category, however.  Those who get tips can have a minimum of half the minimum hourly wage for non-tip workers, now going to $3.75 an hour. .  But the law requires employers to make sure the hourly salary plus tips must equal at least $7.50. 

Missouri’s minimum wage is the lowest of the thirteen states with new minimum wages today.  Here’s the list:

Washington   9.32

Oregon  9.10

Vermont  8.73

Connecticut  8.70

New Jersey  8.25

Rhode Island  8.00

New York   8.00

Colorado  8.00 

Ohio  7.95

Florida   7.93

Montana  7.90

Arizona  7.90

California’s minimum wage goes up to $9.00 an hour on July 1 (San Francisco’s minimum will reach 10.74 and San Jose’s minimum will become $10.15 this year), and $10 an hour on January 1, 2015. 

The Missouri Department of Labor has a web page for frequently-asked questions about the minimum wage.  It is at: