Montana’s minimum wage will increase to $8.50 on Jan. 1

The Montana minimum wage will see the rate increase to $8.50 per hour beginning January 1, 2019.

In the 2006 General Election Montana voters approved Ballot Initiative I-151 to raise the minimum wage and require that the minimum wage be adjusted annually for inflation. As a result, Montana Code Annotated Section 39-3-409 requires the Department of Labor and Industry to adjust the Montana minimum wage for inflation using the CPI-U. The minimum wage rate for 2019 was determined by taking the current minimum wage of $8.30 and increasing it by the CPI-U increase from August of 2017 to August 2018. The CPI-U increased by 2.68% over the year ending August 2018. To keep the minimum wage at the same purchasing power as the prior year, the wage should increase by $0.223 per hour. The resulting wage is $8.523 and statute specifies that the wage must be rounded to the nearest 5 cents. (Montana Department of Labor and Industry, News Release, September 28, 2018; 2019 Minimum Wage Rate Determination.)

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