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Minimum Wage Increase Goes into Effect Tomorrow

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – In less than 24 hours, almost a hundred thousand employees will see a little bit more on their pay checks. Starting Wednesday, minimum wage will increase for the second year in a row.
Its more of a compensation, $7.35. Its money so that is all that matters in the end, its all money in your pocket. That little fifteen cents is like getting a raise and it makes you feel a little better about yourself.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. –  In less than 24 hours, almost a hundred thousand employees will see a little bit more on their pay checks. Starting Wednesday, minimum wage will increase for the second year in a row.

Cody Smith says he spent months looking for work in Springfield before he came across Subway.

"I hit this entire street looking for a job and Subway was the only place that I could find a job," says Smith.

On Wednesday, he will get a raise from state legislatures and he says its the perfect way to start the new year.

"Its really important to have a job, theres barely any jobs. People are having a hard time finding places to work at despite minimum wage."

For the second year in a row, Missouri will raise minimum wage from $7.35 to $7.50. That is a 25 cents more an hour than the federal level.

"Its more of a compensation, $7.35. Its money so that is all that matters in the end, its all money in your pocket. That little fifteen cents is like getting a raise and it makes you feel a little better about yourself," says Smith.

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 3.5 million people work for the same or below the federal level of $7.25 and almost half of those are in the food industry like Cody.

"Its hard when you don’t have many qualifications so I had to take what I get to keep a roof over my head."

While Missouri sits above, Arkansas is one of four states well below the federal minimum wage at $6.25 per hour.

Cody says the fifteen cent increase may not seem like much, but it helps him to know that his hard work is paying off.

"It makes the job that much better, it makes you want to work a little bit harder for that job because you are getting a little bit more."

With the increase, those employees who earn tips will see a slight increase as well. Missouri state law requires employees to earn half of the state’s minimum wage. The increase will make the current hourly rate for these employees increase from $3.65 to $3.75.

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