The Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations are reminding residents that the state’s minimum wage will increase by 85 cents per hour at the start of the new year.

Starting Jan. 1, 2022, the state’s new minimum wage will be $11.15 per hour for employees who work private businesses. Private businesses is the key word here, PRIVATE. Public businesses will not be required to adhere to this. The state’s minimum wage law does not apply to public employers, nor does it allow the state’s minimum wage rate to be lower than the federal minimum wage rate.

This wage increase likely will not affect those who work retail and in restaurants or the service industry in general.  If there is a job that has tipped employees, they must be guarantee at least half of the minimum wage per hour.

This could be a reason why there are so many Help Wanted signs in the windows of restaurants in town.  The service industry has been underpaid for a long time.  I have worked many years of my life in the service industry, before I decided to pursue a career in radio, which is what my college degree is in.  It is an industry that can be very hard.  The mechanics of the job are not that complicated, but the hours can be long, unforgiving, and many companies do not offer the benefits that have prevented a lot of people from going back to work in this field.  Working and dealing with the public can be difficult.

In regards to the raise in the minimum wage, this was put in place in 2018, and was voted into law and will steadily increase until 2023.  For more info on the minimum wage law you can click HERE. There is still a debate about why these service industry jobs are having trouble being filled.  I think that if workers are paid a little bit better and treated better, they will return to work.  But the company or persons who hire them at a higher wage also have the right to demand a bit more effort and to hold their employees to higher standards.

We will see how this shakes out.  But I am glad to see the minimum wages steadily going up.  Every penny counts.

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