Workers in 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].”
The argument 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 years.
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.
Raising the minimum wage is important. Chicago has shown that it works too.