Montana workers earning minimum wage will see an increase from $7.35 per hour to $7.65 per hour on Jan. 1, 2012.

“As the cost of living continues to increase, the law passed by Montanans in 2006, helps those making minimum wage keep their head above water,” said Labor Commissioner Keith Kelly.

Initiative 151, enacted by Montana voters in 2006, proposed raising the state’s minimum wage to be the greater of either the current state or federal minimum wage. It also added an annual cost-of-living adjustment to the state minimum wage.

The increase in the minimum wage is based upon any increase in the U.S. City Average Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers for All Items (CPI) from August of the preceding year to August of the year in which the calculation is made. This amount is to be rounded to the nearest five cents.

The current 2011 minimum wage rate is $7.35. Based on an increase in the CPI of 3.8 percent from August 2010 to August 2011, the calculation used for determining the minimum wage rate for 2012 is as follows:

$7.35 X .038% = $.28, rounded to $0.30

mtwagehourbopa.com