Study shows living wage would provide stability for families


MISSOULA, Mont. - A national research organization released a report on Tuesday that shows the importance of a living wage to help working families transition from debt to stability.

The Montana Organizing Project and the Alliance for A Just Society released the report. The Alliance has studied 11 states, including Montana.

It claims Montana's living wage ranges from $14.40 an hour for a single adult, to $25.82 for a single adult with two children.

Even though Montana's minimum wage is $7.80 an hour, organizers claim that's not enough to cover everyday needs.

"Makes it pretty impossible to make ends meet, and if we don't look at providing livable-wage jobs to Montanans, especially here in Missoula, then we're not creating an economy that's vibrant," said Gail Gutsche, executive director of the Montana Organizing Project.

NBC Montana checked in with a business owner to get his perspective on wages. Pattee Creek Market has almost 30 employees and it pays an average of $10 an hour. Jim Edwards, the owner, says he'd pay more, if he could.

"There would be huge changes. There would be price increases, there would be a few people who would probably be not working here," said Edwards.

The Alliance For A Just Society is working on another study with the Montana Organizing Project, with plans to release it in October. The new study compares wages and gender.

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