Gradually raising the minimum to $12 by 2023 is good for families and good for businesses. It will help Missourians from all walks of life better meet their basic needs and take care of their families. It will help businesses by injecting new dollars into local economies, and save taxpayers money by helping low-wage workers become more self-reliant.
The current minimum wage is far below what workers need to keep avoid poverty.
● Full-time minimum wage workers only make about $16,000 a year. That’s just $314 per week before taxes. That is not enough for a single person, let alone a family, to pay rent, bills and put food on the table. That is well-below the annual wage necessary to live in every part of Missouri, from St. Louis County to Dallas County.
Raising the minimum wage helps ensure that parents can provide for their families.
● Raising the minimum wage will increase the incomes of low-wage workers who frequently rely on government programs. A recent study by the Labor Center at the University of California Berkeley showed that poverty wages for working families in Missouri alone are costing federal taxpayers more than $2.4 billion annually, and Missouri state taxpayers more than $335 million each year.
Minimum wage workers are primarily adult women working full time; many have children.
● The vast majority of directly affected workers (76%) are over the age of 20; about one-third are at least 40; almost half (47%) work full-time; and 38 percent have attended some college or have a college degree.
Increasing the minimum wage does not lead to job losses.
● Research consistently shows that raising the minimum wage as proposed has little to no negative effect on jobs, even in the sectors most likely to hire minimum wage workers.
Minimum wage increases boost employee retention.
● Raising wages reduces costly employee turnover and increases productivity. Research has documented that higher wages means workers stay at their jobs longer.
No evidence that raising the minimum wage leads to notable price increases.
● Several studies show minimum wage hikes have minimal effect on prices. The restaurant industry is one of the most affected by minimum wage increase. Yet, on average, a 10 percent increase in the minimum wage results in a less than 1 percent increase in restaurant prices (think $4.24 vs. $4.29 for a burger). In most other low-wage industries, such as retail and accommodations, price increases are not detectable.
Increasing wages for low-wage workers provides a boost to local economies.
● A 2011 study by the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank finds that minimum wage increases raise incomes and increase consumer spending.
For More Information: Laura Barrett, Coalition Director, 314-443-5915, email her at Laura B
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