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Montana’s minimum wage rises 45 cents to $9.20 on Jan. 1

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HELENA ­– Montana’s minimum wage [rose] by 45 cents, to $9.20 per hour, beginning on Jan. 1, according to the Department of Labor and Industry.

The increase is higher than it’s been in recent years due to higher inflation, Labor Commissioner Laurie Esau said when she announced the change in September.

The state’s former minimum wage was $8.75 an hour.

The Consumer Price Index, a measure of inflation, rose by 5.25 percent from August 2020 to August 2021, led by a 25 percent increase in overall energy costs and a 32 percent increase in the cost of used vehicles.

The increase in the CPI from August to August determines the percentage increase in Montana’s minimum wage. That number is rounded to the nearest 5 cents.

In 2006, Montana voted to increase the state minimum wage by $1 per hour to $6.15, and to evaluate it annually based on the cost of living.

The current federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour and has not increased since 2009. Twenty states, including North Dakota, Wyoming, Idaho and Utah, use the federal minimum wage.

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