States Raising Minimum Wage

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In Missouri, voters approved the minimum wage ballot question by a margin of 62 percent to 38 percent.

The minimum wage will now rise from $7.85 to $8.60 an hour starting January 1, and will go up 85 cents a year until 2023, when it hits $12 an hour, with cost-of-living increases kicking in annually after that.

24/7 Wall St. reviewed federal labor law posting service LaborLawCenter, labor law compliance service GovDocs, employee advocacy group National Employment Law Project, and various news outlets to determine the states that will raise the minimum wage in 2019.

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Lewis Prince, state coordinator for Missouri Business for a Fair Minimum Wage, says Proposition B is nonpartisan, winning a majority among Republican, independent and Democratic voters.

In Arkansas, the minimum wage will now gradually raise to $11 per hour by 2021. Incomes have stagnated since the Great Recession, particularly among low and middle-income workers. Missouri voters also approved a measure that will increase their state's minimum wage to $12 an hour by 2023. Most states now require employers to pay higher minimum wages than the federal level of $7.25, which is set by Congress and the president; that minimum hasn't changed since 2009. Yet costs for essentials such as health care and housing have surged since then, with inflation reducing its spending power by more than 12 percent, according to the Economic Policy Institute, a left-leaning think tank. In 20017, annual wages for top earners rose 3.7 percent, but the bottom 90 percent of workers saw wage gains of 1 percent, EPI found. However, the minimum wage has been the subject of much debate within the Missouri legislature for the last several years.

The increase in Arkansas will raise pay for an estimated 300,000 workers (about a quarter of the state's wage-earning workforce).

On the heels of the success of the measures in Missouri and Arkansas, Louisiana Governor Jon Bel Edwards said it was time for his state to consider a similar move. "It's time for a modest increase in LA!"

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