Local Minimum Wages Trend Rolls to Kansas City, Missouri

Author: Michael Cardman, XpertHR Legal Editor

UPDATE: The Missouri legislature has passed, and overridden the governor's veto of, a bill that prohibits cities like Kansas City from establishing minimum wage requirements.

July 17, 2015

Blues, barbecue, baseball and now a base minimum wage all make their home in Kansas City, Missouri.

The nation's 37th-largest city has passed an ordinance that will establish a local minimum wage of $8.50 an hour on August 24, 2015, and then gradually increase the minimum wage each year until it reaches $13.00 in 2020. After 2020, the minimum wage will be adjusted for inflation each year.

Kansas City is the latest in a string of cities, towns and counties that have enacted local minimum wage ordinances in recent years, many of them spurred on by campaigns organized by national labor groups.

Debate continues to rage about the minimum wage, especially its effects on poverty and unemployment. Some economists have used differences in minimum wages across state borders to analyze the effect of state-level policies, as in a 2010 study from the University of California, Berkeley. Kansas City, Missouri, which shares a border with Kansas City, Kansas, as well as many surrounding counties, could prove a testing ground for analyzing the effect of minimum wage increases at a local level.