Montana minimum wage will increase in 2017

More than half of the minimum wage workers in Montana are older than 25 and more than 60 percent are women.

The Montana Department of Labor and Industry announced on Thursday the new minimum wage for a group it calls an important part of the workforce.

The minimum wage will increase to $8.15 an hour starting on Jan 1, 2017.

That’s up from $8.05, which has been the minimum wage for the last two years in Montana.

The department states 3,329 workers earn minimum wage, about 1.2 percent of the workforce.

An increase is designed to keep pace with inflation, using the Consumer Price Index.

“By the end of September of each year, the adjustment is determined by the Consumer Price Index from the August of the previous year to the current end of August,” said Pam McDaniel, Montana Labor Standards bureau chief. “And calculate it to see if there was an increase or not. That is reflective to whether the minimum wage will go up come January.”

Montana is one of 11 states that uses the Consumer Price Index to determine increases.

The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour.

Montana is among the 29 that have a higher minimum wage.