Montana workers earning minimum wage will see a raise above $10 an hour starting January 1, and will keep more of their earnings starting next year.
State law requires the minimum pay for workers to increase automatically with inflation, which will result in a 35 cent increase for 2024. That brings the minimum wage in Montana to $10.30 per hour.
That’s still below what MIT researchers calculate as Montana’s living wage. That would be nearly $16 an hour to cover all costs associated with living in the state.
Heather O’Loughlin with the Montana Budget and Policy Center says the state’s minimum wage is falling short when it comes to housing costs and the pay for caretakers.
“The care economy and the care sector is really where we see wages continue to be pretty low — so direct care workers, child care workers, disproportionately women, and often women of color,” O'Loughlin says.
The state’s new minimum pay equates to about $21,000 annually.
Families who make less than around $63,000 a year will keep more of their earnings starting in 2024. The state’s earned income tax credit will more than double, lessening the tax burden for low-income earners. That change was proposed by Gov. Greg Gianforte and approved by the state Legislature last spring.
MBPC is a nonprofit organization focused on providing credible and timely research and analysis on budget, tax, and economic issues that impact low- and moderate-income Montana families.