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Minimum wage increases

News from Montana Department of Labor and Industry

HELENA — On Jan. 1, Montana’s minimum wage increased 15 cents, from $7.90 per hour to $8.05 per hour. In 2014 an estimated 12,850 Montana workers, or 2.9 percent of the workforce, received hourly wages less than $8.05 per hour and are likely to receive higher wages due to the 2015 minimum wage increase.

Gov. Steve Bullock welcomed the increase. 

“People who work full time for a living shouldn’t be living in poverty. Higher wages ensure that working Montana families aren’t falling behind and are able to make ends meet,” Bullock said. 

In 2006, Bullock led a coalition that, through a voter’s initiative, raised Montana’s minimum wage and provided automatic adjustments for inflation increases. That measure garnered 73 percent of the vote.

“By tying our minimum wage to the Consumer Price Index we can ensure that working Montanans are able to keep up with inflation and maintain the same level of purchasing power over time,” Labor Commissioner Pam Bucy said.

In 2013, the industry with the largest number of workers earning minimum wage was the accommodations and food services industry followed by the retail trade industry.

“Minimum wage workers represent a broad spectrum of our population,” Bucy said. “Nearly half of all workers earning minimum wage are over the age of 25, and 62 percent of Montana minimum wage workers are women.”

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