(ST. JOSEPH, Mo) A new year means a new minimum wage for Missouri after voters approved to raise the state’s minimum wage from $7.85 last year to $8.60 in 2019.
"A lot of businesses have raised their pay already," Carolynn Sollars, branch manager IMKO Workforce Solutions, said.
In St. Joseph, businesses seem to be ready. Area job placement agencies said their clients are already setting their entry-level pay higher than the state’s minimum wage.
"We have no clients that actually pay the minimum wage," Sollars said. "We’re very fortunate for the job openings that we have here."
Local businesses in the heart of downtown said they’ve had to make adjustments.
"When [the minimum wage] went up, we did raise all of our girls' salaries," Talyor Guess, Owner Wild Layne Boutique, said.
Two days into the new law and placement agencies are already offering insight as to how the higher minimum wage will impact business in the state.
"I think from a business aspect as far as the consumers go, there will be a higher expectation for quality customer service," Sollars said.
Placement agencies said the higher wage will lead to higher expectations and better customer experience.
"Consumers will have a higher customer service expectations," Sollars said.
The minimum wage will be increased gradually every year until 2023 when its expected to cap at $12/hr.