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Montana Minimum Wage Set to Rise in 2014

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Photo courtesy of elycefeliz/Flickr

At $7.80, Montana currently pays more in minimum wage than all but a few states, but according to Montana Department of Labor and Industry Communications Director Casey Kyler-West, the minimum wage will be going up again in 2014.

“Minimum wage is going to go up 10 cents on January 1, 2014,” Kyler-West said. “Every year we take a look at the Consumer Price Index — this is based on a law that was passed in 2006 — and so, each year we look at the Consumer Price Index, and if it has gone up a little bit, then we adjust accordingly.”

The Consumer Price Index (more specifically, the CPI-U) is an attempt to gauge the cost of living by tracking the prices of some predetermined goods. When those goods go up in price, so will the CPI and minimum wages in turn.

This will be the ninth time since 2006 that the minimum wage has gone up in Montana. A look at the numbers shows that few in Montana earn minimum wage, nearly all of which who do are young.

“The number of individuals in Montana who earn minimum wage is just a little over 18,000 in 2013,” Kyler-West said. “That’s kind of the figure that we’ve got. So, this really impacts a small portion of our population.”

Of those that do receive minimum wage, nearly 21 percent are teenagers, and a majority are under the age of 25.


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