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Montana’s Minimum Wage To Increase In 2012

On January 1st, 2012 Montana’s minimum wage will increase 30 cents to $7.65 an hour, raising wages for 21,000 low-wage workers in the state. Montana’s minimum wage increase means an extra $624 per year in wages for a full-time minimum wage worker.

Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The increase is the result of state law passed by Montana voters that provides for annual rate adjustments that keep pace with the rising cost of living. Montana is joined by seven states— Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Ohio, Oregon, Washington and Vermont—that will also raise state minimum wage rates on New Year’s Day, boosting wages for more than 1.4 million workers nationwide.

An estimated 15,000 workers in Montana will be directly impacted as the new minimum wage rate will exceed their current hourly pay, and 6,000 more will see a raise as pay scales are adjusted upward to reflect the new minimum wage, according to an analysis of government data by the Economic Policy Institute. Seventy-six percent of these low-wage workers are over age 20; 80 percent work 20 hours per week or more.

The following data reflect the impact of the 30-cent increase in the Montana minimum wage to $7.65 an hour on January 1, 2012. Source: Economic Policy Institute analysis of Current Population Survey data.

  • Estimated total number of Montana workers affected by increase: 21,000
  • Directly affected workers: 15,000
  • Indirectly affected workers:  6,000
  • Percentage of total Montana workers: 5.7%


Characteristics of those Affected by Increase

  • Percentage over age 20 years of age: 76.2%
  • Percentage working 20 hours per week or more: 79.5%
  • White: 88.1%
  • Black: —
  • Hispanic:  4.7%
  • Asian: 7.2%


The table below lists the following: states with increases; amount of increase; the new wage on January 1, 2012 wage; and increase in annual earnings for a full-time worker:

  • Arizona $0.30; $7.65; $624
  • Colorado, $0.28; $7.64; $582
  • Florida, $0.36; $7.67; $749
  • Montana, $0.30, $7.65; $624
  • Ohio, $0.30; $7.70; $624
  • Oregon, $0.30; $8.80; $624
  • Washington, $0.37; $9.04; $770
  • Vermont, $0.31; $8.46; $645

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