Governor Steve Bullock announced on Monday that Montanans earning minimum wage will see the rate increase to $8.65 per hour beginning January 1, 2020.
The 2019 minimum wage in Montana is $8.50 per hour. Currently, 29 states and D.C. have minimum wages above the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.
A press release from the Governor's office says that an estimated 10,200 Montana workers, or 2.2% of the workforce, currently receive hourly wages less than $8.65 per hour, and are likely to receive higher wages due to the 2020 minimum wage increase.
In 2018, the industry with the largest number of workers earning minimum wage was the accommodations and food services industry followed by the retail trade industry.
The minimum wage is determined by taking the current minimum wage of $8.50 and increasing it by the CPI-U increase from August 2018 to August 2019.
The CPI-U increased by 1.75% over the year ending August 2019. To keep the minimum wage at the same purchasing power as the prior year, the wage should increase by $0.148 per hour.
The resulting wage is $8.648 and statute specifies that the wage must be rounded to the nearest 5 cents.
Montana Code Annotated 39-3-409 requires the Montana Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) to adjust the Montana minimum wage for inflation using the Consumer Price Index for Urban Consumers (CPI-U).
“This increase ensures Montanans earning the minimum wage don’t fall further behind, but we still have work to do to make a living wage a reality for all Montanans,” Governor Bullock said in the press release. “Montana has the sixth fastest wage growth in the nation over the past decade, and we must build on this trend by continuing to create good-paying jobs, supporting Montana businesses, standing up for employees who negotiate for better pay, and increasing opportunities to pursue education or in-demand skills.”
Additional information about the minimum wage from the U.S. Department of Labor can be found here.