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First Interstate Bank raises minimum wage to $17 per hour; Wyoming’s minimum wage remains at $5.15 per hour

(File Photo, Oil City)

CASPER, Wyo. — On Wednesday, First Interstate Bank announced it will be raising its minimum wage from $15 to $17 starting Saturday, Oct. 1.

The bank’s new minimum wage will apply to current and new employees alike in all 14 states, including Wyoming, where the bank offers positions.

“For us to be successful as a community bank, we have to take care of colleagues and deliver on our commitment to be a great place to work,” said Rachel Turitto, chief human resources officer at First Interstate Bank.

While the bank’s decision to voluntarily raise its own minimum wage will apply to its employees in Wyoming, the state-mandated minimum wage remains at $5.15 per hour in Wyoming, below the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

When the Wyoming Community Foundation, which is the Annie E. Casey partner for the Wyoming Kids Count, released the 2022 Wyoming Counts Kids Data Book this summer, the foundation also recommended Wyoming’s minimum wage be raised to $12 per hour.

Raising the minimum wage to $12 per hour would directly benefit 29,515 people in Wyoming, the Wyoming Kids Count Data Book said.

Here is a look at some of the Natrona County information the 2022 Wyoming Counts Kids Data Book shows:

  • Natrona kids living in poverty
    • In Natrona County, the percentage of children overall living below the poverty line was at 10% in 2020, no change from 2011.
    • Kids living in single-family homes are more likely to live in poverty. In Natrona, 25.9% of kids in single-family homes were living below the poverty line in 2020 compared with 3% of kids living with married parents.
    • Kids living with single mothers are more likely to live in poverty than those living with single fathers:
      • In Natrona, 30.1% of single-mother households were below the poverty line in 2020, up from 27.7% in 2011.
      • 13% of single-father households were below the poverty line in 2020 compared with 9.2% in 2011.
  • Wage gap
    • Natrona County’s wage gap mirrored the statewide wage gap in 2020, with women earning 69 cents to every dollar that men earned.
    • The 2020 wage gap between men and women in Natrona County shrank from a 33-cent gap in 2011.
  • WIC and SNAP
    • The percentage of Natrona County mothers enrolled in the Women, Infants and Children Program fell from 34% in 2011 to 21.1% in 2020.
    • The percent of all Natrona residents receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program support or other public assistance rose to 7.3% in 2020, up from 5.7% in 2011.
  • Births and maternal care
    • Natrona saw the percentage of births to unmarried mothers decline to 39.9% in 2020, down from 40.2% in 2011.
    • C-section births rose from 24.1% in 2011 to 30.3% in 2020, and pre-term deliveries rose from 9.4% to 11%.
    • 30.7% of Natrona mothers received “less than adequate prenatal care” in 2020, down from 39% in 2011.
    • The infant mortality rate grew to 8.6 per 1,000 live births in 2020, up from 6.4 per 1,000 in 2011.
    • 9.8% of infants in Natrona County weighed less than 5 pounds 8 ounces at birth.
    • 14.1% of Natrona mothers smoked during pregnancy in 2020, down from 24.0% in 2011.
    • The percentage of births relying on Medicaid as the primary source of payment fell to 34.9% in Natrona in 2020, down from 40.5% in 2011.
    • Live births to Natrona teens 15–19 years old rose slightly to 36.3% in 2020 compared with 36.2% in 2011.
  • Children lacking health insurance
    • 7% of Natrona children were not covered by a plan providing “comprehensive health coverage” in 2020.
  • Education
    • 11% of Natrona mothers didn’t have a high school diploma at the time of birth in 2020, down from 12.3% in 2011.
    • On-time graduation rose to 80.3% in 2020–21 in the Natrona County School District, up from 74.1% in 2011–12.
    • The number of preschool programs available in Natrona fell to nine in 2021–22, down from 12 in 2012–13.
  • Childcare facilities
    • Natrona had 86 childcare facilities able to offer care for 3,867 kids in 2021. That compares with 105 facilities with a capacity for 3,642 kids in 2017.