Montana Minimum Wage Increases to $8.05 - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Montana Minimum Wage Increases to $8.05

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HELENA -

Minimum wage in Montana will increase by 15 cents starting January 1st. That's because state law requires the Montana Department of Labor and Industry to adjust the minimum wage in accordance with the consumer price index.

Currently, the minimum wage in Montana is $7.90 and will increase to $8.05. Making it 80 cents more than the federal minimum wage.

In 2006, a voter's initiative to link Montana's minimum wage rate to the Consumer Index Price passed with 73 percent approval. Montana's Department of Labor and Industry Commissioner Pam Bucy said doing this ensures Montanans are able to keep up with inflation and maintain their spending power.

"The policy point of something like this is that you should be able to buy the same amount of groceries for the same amount of money every year," Bucy said. "You don't want your money to be worth less and because that's bad for your family, but it's also really bad for Montana businesses."

In 2013, the industry with the largest number of minimum wage workers was the accommodations and food services industry. Such occupations include waiters, waitresses and retail sales persons. Bucy said the increase is seen in a good thing because nearly a majority of Montana minimum wage workers are over the age of 25. Meaning these are potentially people who have a home and family to provide for.

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