JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Higher pay is on the way to thousands of people who work for the state of Missouri.

Gov. Mike Parson signed a bill into law granting workers an 8.7 percent cost-of-living raise. State employees working in congregate care settings will also receive a $2 per hour shift differential.

Supporters, including Gov. Parson said the pay raise was critical to retain state employees.

At the beginning of the year, the state has a turnover rate of nearly 30 percent. There were more than 7,000 open state positions that needed to be filled across Missouri.

They hope higher pay will help retain critical employees and improve competitiveness with private companies.

Parson asked lawmakers to approve the pay raise by March 1, in an effort to get it to workers as quickly as possible.

With the bill signed, Missouri state employees will see the pay increases beginning in the March 31 paychecks, according to the Governor’s office.

This is the second year in a row state employees received similar boosts in pay. In 2022, they received a 7.5 percent pay jump.