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      The new year brings new earnings for Missourians

      The new year has already been somewhat prosperous for some Missourians.

      On January 1st, Missouriâ??s minimum wage increased by 15 cents.

      The new dollar amount for minimum wage employees is now $7.50 per hour and this benefits about 104,000 low-wage workers in the â??show-meâ?? state.

      The new increase is expected to boost local spending and build our economic growth by $11 million.

      â??When you give a pay increase to the lowest paid workers, they tend to really spend that immediately in the local economy. Very few fast food or retail workers are socking their nickel and dime raises into bank accounts. Most of them are spending it at the childcare center in the neighborhood, the corner grocery store or places like that, supporting local, independent Missouri businesses,â?? said Lara Granich.

      Missouri is one of 13 states that increased minimum wage, impacting a total of more than 2.5 million workers. Missouriâ??s minimum wage increase is the result of a ballot initiative approved by voters in 2006 to keep up with the steadily increasing cost of living.