St. Louis City Minimum Wage Drops

St. Louis’ minimum wage has dropped to $7.70 after a brief increase to $10, due to opposition from Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens. In July, Greitens announced that the increase would kill jobs.

St. Louis passed an ordinance in 2015 that mandated the city’s minimum wage would increase to $10 by 2017. A court battle between Missouri’s state legislature and the city of St. Louis ensued, but the city’s minimum wage did go up to $10 in May 2017.

That wage was slated to increase to $11 an hour in January 2018. But a recent bill in the Missouri legislature gave Greitens the ability to prohibit cities from creating a different minimum wage than the one used in the rest of the state. The reversal comes as many states are looking to increase their minimum wages.

The new law went into effect on Monday, which means roughly 35,000 people are seeing their wages fall.

Greitens’s claim that raising the minimum wage would “kill jobs” is not supported by economic research. The National Employment Law Project released an exhaustive report in 2016 looking at every federal minimum wage hike since 1938. The investigators found that year-over-year employment increased 68% of the time after each wage hike. What’s more, the industries most affected by minimum wage more often saw jumps in employment: 73% of the time in retail, and 82% in leisure and hospitality.

Some local business owners in St. Louis welcomed the wage cutback, but other St. Louis residents lamented the loss of that extra cash each month.