HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana’s minimum wage increased by 10 cents an hour to $8.75, effective Friday.
The Department of Labor and Industry estimates 8,000 to 10,000 Montana workers, or 2% of the workforce, received hourly wages of less than $8.75 per hour in 2020 and are likely to receive higher wages due to the minimum wage increase.
In 2019, the accommodations and food services industry had the largest number of workers earning minimum wage. Many minimum-wage workers are front-line workers who are at the greatest risk of COVID-19 exposure, the department said.
Montana voters raised the minimum wage and approved the annual inflationary increase in 2006.
The 2021 minimum wage was determined by increasing the 2020 minimum wage by the 1.31% increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Consumers for the year ending in August 2020. That calculation would result in an 11 cent-per-hour increase, but state law requires rounding the wage increase to the nearest five cents.
Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia have a higher minimum wage than the federal rate of $7.25, which hasn’t increased since July 2009.