Minimum wage to increase

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Governor Steve Bullock has announced that Montanans earning minimum wage will see an increase beginning Jan. 1, 2018, according to a press release.

Minimum wage will increase by 15 cents to $8.30 an hour.

“People who work full time for a living shouldn’t be living in poverty. This modest increase in minimum wage means more Montana workers will have a little extra money in their pockets,” said Governor Bullock. “This economic boost will help hard-working Montana families make ends meet and ensure they aren’t falling behind.”

In 2017, the industry with the largest number of workers earning minimum wage was the accommodations and food industry followed by the retail trade industry.

Occupations with a large amount of minimum wage workers include food and preparation workers, cashiers, bartenders, serving staff and retail salespersons.

An estimated 3,900 workers, or 0.9 percent of the workforce, receive minimum wage, the press release stated.

The minimum wage is determined by taking the current minimum wage of $8.15 and increasing it by the CPI-U increase from August of 2016 to August 2017. The CPI-U increased by 1.939% over the year ending August 2017.

To keep the minimum wage at the same purchasing power as the prior year, the wage should increase by $0.158 per hour. The resulting wage is $8.308 and statute specifies that the wage must be rounded to the nearest 5 cents.

Information relating to Montana’s minimum wage may be downloaded from the Department of Labor & Industry website at erd.dli.mt.gov.

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