Actions

Minimum wage in Montana: biggest increase in years

dollar bills
Posted at 9:34 AM, Dec 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-28 20:05:25-05

GREAT FALLS — Montana’s minimum wage will increase from $8.75 per hour to $9.20 per hour beginning on Saturday, January 1, 2022 - an increase of 45 cents per hour.

Montana law requires that the minimum wage be adjusted annually based on changes in inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index all Urban Consumers (CPI-U) from August of the year in which the calculation is made, and is rounded to the nearest $0.05.

The Montana Department of Labor & Industry says that the $0.45 increase in the minimum wage is higher than the increases in the last several years due to higher inflation.

In 2006, Montana voters approved Initiative 151, which increased the minimum wage by $1 and instituted an annual adjustment to account for inflation. Here are the changes to the Montana minimum wage since then:

  • Jan. 1, 2007: $6.15
  • Jan. 1, 2008: $6.25
  • July 24, 2008 (federal increase): $6.55
  • Jan. 1, 2009: $6.90
  • July 24, 2009 (federal increase): $7.25
  • Jan. 1, 2011: $7.35
  • Jan. 1, 2012: $7.65
  • Jan. 1, 2013: $7.80
  • Jan. 1, 2014: $7.90
  • Jan. 1, 2015: $8.05
  • Jan. 1, 2017: $8.15
  • Jan. 1, 2018: $8.30
  • Jan. 1, 2019: $8.50
  • Jan. 1, 2020: $8.65
  • Jan. 1, 2021: $8.75
  • Jan. 1, 2022: $9.20

Scripps National reports that 21 states and 35 cities and counties across the country will be starting the new year by raising their minimum wage. In addition, four other states plan to join them later in the year, along with 20 more locations.

While 2022 is set to be a record-breaking year for boosting the minimum wage locally, it's a different story at the federal level, where the minimum wage is $7.25 an hour — the same it's been since 2009. That represents the minimum wage in 21 states across the country.