In a 44-5 vote on Dec. 2, Chicago’s City Council approved Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s plan to increase minimum wage to $13 an hour by the middle of 2019.
“The minimum wage is speaking to make sure that nobody who works raises a child in poverty,” The Chicago Tribune reports Emanuel saying. “The minimum wage…really comes down to making sure that your child does not go to school on an empty stomach (or) making sure that you don’t pick between medicine or school supplies.”
Current minimum wage in Chicago and the rest of Illinois is $8.25 an hour, and under the new ordinances, the city’s minimum wage will increase to $10 by next July and go up in increments each summer after that. Following 2019, wages will increase according to the local consumer price index, with a limit of 2.5 percent if the unemployment rate stays below 8.5 percent.
Chicago joins a growing list of cities and states who have already implemented laws to raise minimum wage in 2014 including Arizona, Connecticut and New York just to name a few.
So far, studies show that employment has increased for all but one of the 13 states who raised their minimum wage this year, with nine of the states having employment gains above the nation’s average.