Montana minimum wage workers get boost in pay

Montana has a new minimum wage with workers now being paid a minimum of $8.05 per hour compared to $7.90 per hour – an extra $6 per week for 40 hours of work.By Lori Kesinger
According to the Montana Department of Labor and Industry, an estimated 12,850 Montana workers or 2.9 percent of the workforce will receive higher wages due to the minimum wage increase.
Through a 2006 voter’s initiative, Montana’s minimum wage was raised and provided automatic adjustments for inflation increases.  The Consumer Price Index rose by 1.7 percent from August 2013 to August 2014. The 15 cent increase takes effect on the first day of the new year.
Gov. Steve Bullock applauded the increase. “People who work full time for a living shouldn’t be living in poverty.  Higher wages ensure that working Montana families aren’t falling behind and are able to make ends meet,” Bullock said. “Montana’s leading our country in economic growth by making sure our workers earn a decent wage and they have the skills for the jobs we’re creating.”
Many businesses start paying their employees more than the minimum wage.  Businesses that remain at minimum wage say the pay increase is a good thing while others argue it negatively impacts businesses by cutting into an employer’s profits.
Montana is one of 21 states that will see an increase in minimum wage this year.  The federal wage minimum is $7.25 per hour.