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Minimum Wage: 3 Facts About Illinois' Minimum Wage

By    |   Thursday, 17 Dec 2015 06:50 PM

If you only earn the minimum wage and are living in Illinois – a rate that is set at $8.25 per hour statewide, but is higher in Chicago – it will be hard to make ends meet in the country's fifth-most populous state. This is because the minimum wage in Illinois is well below the living wage, which is the amount necessary to live in minimal comfort.

Here are three things to know about the minimum wage in the Prairie State:

Urgent: Do You Think the Minimum Wage Should Be Raised?

1. Chicago has a higher minimum wage.
Workers living in Chicago are required to be paid a minimum wage of $10 per hour, which is higher than the state minimum wage of $8.25 per hour. The rate is the first in a series of increases that will see the city's minimum raise rise to $13 per hour by July 1, 2019. After this date the minimum wage is set to increase automatically each year as long as Chicago's unemployment level stays below 8.5 percent.

2. The minimum wage is not equal to the living wage.
Even if you live in Chicago and make $10 per hour, this amount is still below what the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has calculated to be a living wage in Illinois. That amount is set at $11.08 per hour for one adult and $22.96 per hour for an adult raising a single child. A living wage is the amount you need to earn to pay the expenses associated with life: food, housing, transportation, medical, and if you have children, child-care expenses, among others.

3. Illinois workers are making $1 more than in 21 other states.
People in Illinois earning only the minimum wage of $8.25 per hour are still doing better than minimum wage earners in 21 other states, which only mandate the federal minimum age of $7.25 per hour. That said, they are doing worse than minimum wage earners in 11 other state and the District of Columbia that pay up to $10.50 per hour in minimum wage.

Vote Now: How Do You Feel About the Minimum Wage?

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If you only earn the minimum wage and are living in Illinois - a rate that is set at $8.25 per hour statewide, but is higher in Chicago - it will be hard to make ends meet in the country's fifth-most populous state.
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