Montana Minimum Wage Rises, Soon to be One of the Top 10 Highest in U.S.
Montana's minimum wage is scheduled to jump and will soon be one of the top ten minimum wage paying states in the country.
"About 12,000 workers in Montana will be receiving a raise on January 1, 2015 when the minimum wage increases by $.15 to $8.05 an hour," said Montana Department of Labor and Industry Communication Director Annie Glover.
The cause of the rise in minimum wage is due to inflation. In 2006, Montana voters passed a referendum that geared the minim wage to increases in the CPI, or Consumer Price Index.
"Each year, we look at the CPI and what it has increased from one August to the next, and so this year, we are looking at the increase in the CPI from August 2013 to August 2014," Glover said. "It increased by 1.7 percent over that year, so we take that calculation and pin it to the last minimum wage and apply the increase, and that's how we got the $.15."
With the increase, Montana will now be among the highest paying minimum wage states in the nation and, by far, the highest paid of its neighboring states.
The highest minimum wage states, according to the U.S. Labor Department are as follows.
- Washington $9.32
- Oregon $9.10
- California $9.00
- Vermont $8.73
- Connecticut $8.70
- New Jersey $8.25
- Nevada $8.25 (only applies to those that don't receive health coverage)
- Illinois $8.25 (only applicable to employers of 4 or more)
- Michigan $8.15
- Montana $8.05
If included as a state, Washington D.C. would push Montana to 11 as the minimum wage there is $9.50 an hour.