Chicago – or those moving to the city – will be pleased to know that minimum
wage is far from minimum. While the
state of Illinois has been stuck at $8.25 for the last 9 years, this year
Chicago pushed its minimum wage up to $13!
So how is this fact affecting the rest of the state of Illinois? It seems it does not want to bow to pressure. according to CEO and President of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association, Rob Karr, Illinois should not be dictated to by Chicago. At a recent meeting held by the Senate Labor Committee, Karr said:
“It’s something we all need to look at when we’re talking about … the economic diversity of this state and the fact that, the suburbs and downstate simply don’t enjoy the same economics [as Chicago].”
that raising the minimum wage leads to less employment opportunities has
largely been disproved, particularly within Chicago. With the raise of the minimum wage in Chicago
(a hike of 40 percent) unemployment in the windy city actually reached an
all-time low of 3.6 percent! indeed, in
2018 Chicago’s drop in unemployment was the highest out of America’s largest 10
cities. Plus, an additional 72,000 jobs
arrived in Chicago, causing it to have more jobs per capita than in the last 50
Ford put a
billion dollar investment into Chicago last week adding 500 manufacturing jobs
while North Point also announced the creation of 1,300 new jobs.
minimum wage is important. Chicago has
shown that it works too.
can find it challenging to get back into the workforce after they have had
children. It was found that 34 percent choose
not to return to their jobs. An endeavor
in Chicago is now aiming to fix that issue.
The Mom Project – a Chicago-based
startup – is trying to reduce that figure by bringing moms to employers looking
to hire who understand and appreciate the value a mom can bring to their firm and
who will work with them to alleviate mom-based pressures.
startup is currently working with 75,000 women in this position. To date, they
have gotten 1,000 companies internationally to see if they can make a fit with
moms returning to the workforce. The mission
of the project is: “helping women remain active in the workforce in every
stage in their journey.”
of the companies the project works with include: JLL, Sapient Razorfish,
Georgia-Pacific, Miller-Coors and more.
At a recent meeting held by members of the West Garfield
Park Youth Council, a discussion took place on how to give people from impoverished
community a second chance; a subject that has traditionally been swept under
the carpet. The need to empower formerly incarcerated individuals from the
community was the focal point of the discussion.
When a region creates more jobs, it is pretty much great news for everyone. Last month, the ADP Regional Employment Reportrecorded an additional 5,700 new positions in the private sector. And for those in Chicago still seeking employment, there is good news too; a new law has forbidden potential employers from asking job applicants to reveal their salary history in an increasing attempt around the country to create gender equal salaries.
The additional jobs in Illinois saw the most in Chicago but the state as a whole added a staggering 41,000 jobs in 2017. Over half of these though were in Chicago – nearly 24,000.
And with this, the executive order to mark Equal Pay Day was signed by the Chicago Mayor. This shows how far into the year women have to work – on average – to earn as much as their male counterparts did the previous year! This comes at a time when lawmakers in the region are looking at two different pieces of legislation that are seeking to close the wage gap.
Rep. Laura Fine, D-Glenview just proposed a Bill (H.B. 4595) for the establishment of an (Illinois) state-sponsored insurance company. If it becomes law, it would result in the creation of the non-profit Illinois Employers Mutual Insurance Co. providing local workers compensation in situations in which companies where they work cannot afford to do so. The Illinois Workers Compensation Commission Operations Fund would provide a $10 million loan to get this going.
While this seems necessary, last year, Gov. Bruce Rauner – also of Illinois – attempted H.B. 2622 which was vetoed. Indeed, a recent study published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine found that Illinois mine workers who are the victims of injuries and illnesses are less likely to report these to tracking federal agencies
Energage just published results for this year’s ranking of Best Workplaces in the Chicago area. Using employee surveys as well as assessments of work-life balance, company leadership and more, Baird & Warner took top place. According to Energage’s CEO Doug Claffey: “Our mission is making the world a better place to work together. With the Energage platform, companies finally have a way to turn the potential of engagement into real action.”
And then there are collaborative efforts that occur within companies. For example, design and development company Adage Technologies recently started using the Scrum methodology (used in software development projects) to make collaboration go faster. But, to ensure staff satisfaction is not lost the process, regular meetings for employees are held in which they can discuss their thoughts on how to move forward. And Cars.com has been working toward tech team restructuring in order to cultivate more cross-functional collaboration which has worked well for company culture, increasing deployment rates in the team.
Other companies are focusing on getting healthy within the workplace: SPINS (a consumer insights and data analytics company) has an in-office gym featuring meditation, cooking demos and volunteer opportunities. And then Dose provides its employees with fitness initiatives resulting in greater staff cohesion and more.
All Chicagoan firms should take a look at what is making these (and others on the list) stand out from the rest in an attempt to bolster their own rankings on employee culture.
A way of investing in real estate in Chicago without putting any money down, with tips on how to finance a deal, applying for funding and taking financial responsibility. Put out by the Chicago Action Investors.
A few years ago everyone was trying to work from home. It knocked out the commute, saved time and let you stay in your pajamas all day. But then the trend started backfiring a bit and people craved the interaction between others and being forced to get dressed rather than be on the computer in their bedroom. Indeed, at that time it was found that people craved the stimulation of the office environment and the networking opportunities it offered.
Thus, the We-Work/Hub situation was born. And the best of both worlds came into action. For those Chicagoans looking for options, today they can choose from: WeWork Chicago (for $350-750 a month in 6 locations); Level (with different options available at there 4 locations – one close to Willis Tower and its thriving community; indoor bike racks at another and cheap fees – starting from a mere $50 per month) and Industrious Chicago (which provides a large space right in the center of River North across from the Loop. As well as office facilities this has lounge area, phone booths and relaxation rooms as well as a café).
These spaces are obviously thriving since Level Office just signed a deal for a 110,000 square foot office tower at Welton and 16th Streets.
Chicago will now be subject to obligatory minimum wage increases. Following a new law that went into place at the beginning of this month, within the city, a 50 percent increase will result in minimum wage being $11 per hour. This is noteworthy since it is the third such increase that has taken place since December 2014. For tipped workers it has increased to $6.10 per hour – an inflation-rendered increase set up earlier this year.
Minimum wages in Chicago will increase at a rate of $1 per hour (next year and the year after), to get to the highest $13 level per hour in 2020. Thereafter wage increases will be determined by inflation.
Furthermore, Cook County employers will be forced to give their workers sick pay (and a carry over of unused days to the next year), since right now 40% of workers in the area are not eligible for this benefit.
Triton College recently put together its Second Chance Job Fair that was attended by 70 employers and 150 applicants. The aim of this event was to literally, give people a second chance in building a solid future for themselves. The reason the college hosted the job fair, was, according to Director of Career Services at Triton Rich Williams, because they “saw a real need for this type of job fair. There are a lot of people who are facing some tough barriers in terms of finding employment. At the same time, there are a lot of employers who want to help. We’re linking the two.”
This kind of fair is so important given the current economic climate. Very few people are able to get a second chance; but this is the perfect opportunity for it. And it’s great for employees as PeopleReady employment agency rep Diego Irizarry said that they are often looking for “diverse candidates to meet the staffing needs of local businesses.”
This represents a real networking opportunity for the community and the college, filling a gap that is often remained empty. And Triton College is perfect as it understands how important it is to connect jobs/careers with education. And some jobs are even designed for such “second chance employees.”
So take a leaf out of Chicago’s book and start training those who need it and for those companies, find those seeking employment who really want to work and keep getting pushed back.