HELENA, Mont.-Montanans earning minimum wage will see the rate increase to $8.15 per hour beginning January 1, 2017. An estimated 3,323 workers, or approximately 1.2 percent of the workforce, receive minimum wage.
“By tying our minimum wage to the Consumer Price Index (CPI-U), we are making sure that Montana families are keeping pace with inflation,” said Labor & Industry Commissioner, Pam Bucy. “Through an increased minimum wage, our workforce will be able to have more purchase power in their local communities.”
In 2015, the industry with the largest number of workers earning minimum wage was the accommodations and food industry followed by the retail trade industry. Combined Food and Preparation Workers, Waiters and Waitresses, Cashiers, Bartenders, and Retail Salespersons are occupations with large numbers of minimum wage workers.
“Minimum wage workers are a valuable and important segment of our workforce,” said Bucy. “Over half of all workers earning minimum wage are over the age of 25, and over 60 percent of our state’s minimum wage earners are women.”
39-3-409 MCA requires the Department of Labor & Industry to adjust the Montana minimum wage for inflation using the CPI-U.
This figure is arrived at by taking the current minimum wage of $8.05 and increasing it by the CPI-U increase from August of 2015 to August 2016. The CPI-U increased by 1.095% over the year ending August 2016. To keep the minimum wage at the same purchasing power as the prior year, the wage should increase by $0.09 per hour. The resulting wage is $8.139. 39-3-409, MCA specifies that the wage must be rounded to the nearest 5 cents making it $8.15.
Information relating to Montana’s minimum wage may be downloaded from DLI’s website at www.mtwagehourbopa.com.