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Not Everyone Optimistic About Missouri Minimum Wage Increase - KOAM TV 7

Not Everyone Optimistic About Missouri Minimum Wage Increase

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     If you live in Missouri...you may start to take home a little more green next year.
     The minimum wage is set to go up 15 cents on January 1st.
     But there are some who are skeptical about the benefits of the increase.
Right now, the minimum wage in Missouri is $7.70 an hour, but is that amount enough?
Webb City Resident Ryan Brown: "No, not livable, not really, it's enough to get you maybe some food here and there and some gas every once in a while, but that's about it."
And there are others who are cautious about the new increase.
The rate will be $7.85 at the start of the year.
Damien Tiregol owns Crabby's on West 7th Street.
And although he says he starts his employees at higher than minimum wage, he's not optimistic about this increase.
Tiregol: "I don't think that it helps small business owners, and I don't think it helps employees that were to make that wage, 15 cents an hour, even spread out over 40 hours in a work week, is not very much money."
Recently, there's been some minimum wage controversy in America, and right here at home.
Saint Louis tried a city-wide minimum wage of $10 an hour, but the state came in and said they can't do that.
Ryan Brown is making minimum wage now, he feels a higher minimum wage, like the St. Louis effort, would be more beneficial.
Brown: "If they got a job like that, it would make it where they would want to work harder, push themselves to better limits, bigger limits, to earn that more money."
Tiregol agrees -- but he says the extra earnings should also be based on the skill-set the employees bring to that job.
As for this upcoming increase...
Tiregol: "15 cents doesn't, it's going to hurt some small businesses, but I think in the long run, it really doesn't affect much of anything."
And Brown echoes those concerns...
Brown: "I hate to say it, probably not, I mean, it'll probably help a few people out here and there."
     The state of Missouri has consistently raised its minimum wage by 15 cents since 2013.
     The exception...2015 when there was no increase at all.

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Chris Warner
Reporter

A Joplin native, Chris first started in broadcasting at age 16 at KSNF-TV in 2004..

Chris joined the KOAM team in 2017 as an Associate Producer. In April, he moved into a full-time reporter position. He spent time from 2008 to 2016 in various retail roles around the region before returning to his passion at KOAM. Chris is excited to continue telling the stories of the four states. Chris and his wife Amber live in Joplin and have three amazing children.

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