Dec 30, 2010 11:07 AM by Montana's News Station
HELENA - Montanans making minimum wage will see a pay increase beginning January 1st. Although it isn't much, at just a dime, it is considered to be keeping up with inflation.
"It's required by the Initiative 151 that the voters approved several years ago, and it was indexed that they said, 'we'll take either the higher minimum wage or the state minimum wage based off the consumer price index,'" Montana Department of Labor Commissioner Keith Kelly explained. "So, this year because we've had a fairly flat economy with a very very modest increase, of just a dime. And so, that's $200 a year for whomever's earning minimum wage."
This marks the third minimum wage increase in two years. Back in January of 2009, it rose from $6.55 to $6.90 and we saw a July of 2009 increase of 35 cents to the current rate of $7.25 per hour.;
Approximately 24,000 Montana workers earned minimum wage or less in 2009 and Kelly added that despite the increase to $7.35 an hour, the wage is still "below" poverty level.