City Cast

Is a $25 Minimum Wage in Chi's Future?

Simone Alicea
Posted on December 12, 2022   |   Updated on May 27

Illinois’ minimum wage will increase Jan. 1. But are recent wage goals already out of date?

First, the money.
The state minimum wage will be $13 per hour for non-tipped employees and $7.80 for tipped workers, FOX 32 reported. The increase is part of a law passed in 2019 to get Illinois to a $15 minimum wage by 2025.

Chicago’s minimum wage is already $15.40 an hour for non-tipped workers at businesses with more than 20 employees, after an increase in July.

But is $15 enough?
It’s been a decade since workers and labor advocates started pushing for a $15 minimum wage, led largely by the Service Employees International Union. Now, SEIU’s Illinois council is talking about a $25 minimum wage.

In a questionnaire, the union is asking candidates for Chicago mayor, alderperson, and others if they would support the higher wage.

“No one has said no,” council president Greg Kelley told Crain’s. “We do think it’s time that Chicago move further than it has.”

Supporters say a $25 minimum wage would not only help workers, but also help businesses with recruitment. But opponents say raising wages would hurt the hospitality and service industries struggling with inflation and recovering from the pandemic.

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