Governor Steve Bullock made the announcement Friday that Montana’s minimum wage will increase from $8.65 per hour to $8.75 per hour beginning Jan. 1, 2021. The federal minimum wage rate is $7.25 per hour.
The minimum wage in Montana is required to be adjusted annually for inflation after citizens passed Ballot Initiative 156 in 2006. As a private citizen, Bullock says he helped lead the effort.
"By tying the minimum wage to inflation, we can ensure Montanans earning the minimum wage see a modest increase and have the same buying power, instead of falling further behind,” Governor Bullock said. “We must continue to do more to help working families succeed by bringing in quality jobs, supporting Montana businesses, and investing in education and workforce training, especially as we continue to work toward economic recovery due to the pandemic.”
The State reports estimated 8,000 to 10,000 Montana workers, or around 2 percent of the workforce, received hourly wages less than $8.75 per hour in 2020.
At the beginning of 2020, the minimum wage in the state was raised from $8.50 to $8.65.
The State notes many minimum-wage workers, like those in the food service industry, are front-line workers who are at the greatest risk of COVID-19 exposure.