MISSOULA, Mont. -

A new study has found that annual lumber production in Montana for the first half of 2014 has increased 4 percent from last year and nearly 40 percent since 2009.
    
The University of Montana's Bureau of Business and Economic Research in a report released Friday also says worker wages have increased 20 percent compared to last year.
    
Bureau spokesman Todd Morgan tells the Missoulian (http://bit.ly/UKjvOm) that there's been a steady improvement in wages that has been absent for a while.
    
He says most Montana mills are still operating below full capacity and log supply is the key element limiting products.
    
About 294 million board feet of lumber was produced in Montana in the first half of 2014.
    
Morgan says new home construction is driving demand.