Oct 3, 2012 6:08 PM by Evan Weborg - MTN News
HELENA- Montana, which is one of 18 states with a minimum wage higher than the federal requirement, will increase it again in January.
The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, and Montana's will rise from $7.65 to $7.80 per hour in order to help offset a cost of living increase.
State officials say about 7% of the state's workforce, or just over 28,000 people, will be affected. State labor commissioner Keith Kelly says that the increase may look small, but for some it can make a big difference.
"I think the best way to look at this is this very small adjustment of only $300, but $300 to somebody at that bottom level could mean a whole lot. It could mean a new pair of tennis shoes for a child and maybe some health services that you went able to get, and so even though it is a small amount of money but for those people it is absolutely essential," Kelly said.
The law requires a minimum wage adjustment annually based on changes in inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) from August of the preceding year to August of the year in which the calculation is made.
An adjustment to the minimum wage is to be calculated no later than Sept. 30 of each year based upon any increase in the CPI, rounded to the nearest five cents.
Montana has had a minimum wage increase every year dating back to 2007.