Tags: Minimum Wage | minimum wage | illinois | median income

Minimum Wage in Illinois Compared to State's Median Income

By    |   Monday, 09 Nov 2015 08:05 PM

Although Illinois doesn't have the highest minimum wage in the country, it is far from the lowest, and in actuality it is cheaper to live in the Prairie State than in many other states as Illinois has a relatively high minimum wage and median household income when compared to national averages, as well as a decently low cost of living.

At $8.25 an hour, Illinois' minimum wage is higher than in other states in the Midwest, but because of the strong unions in the state, many workers earn above minimum wage.

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The cost of living is also lower in Illinois than many parts of the country, and although it is not the cheapest state to live in in the U.S., it is the 21st lowest from a cost of living perspective, according to USA Today.

Additionally, typical households in Illinois earn more than the national median, which, coupled with the relatively low living costs, means for many wage-earning residents, getting by isn't as hard as in other states.

In Illinois, the median household income is $56,797, compared to the national average of $53,046, according to data from the latest U.S. Census.

But not everyone in Illinois is earning income and the state still has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country. Additionally, for those only earning the minimum wage, the cost of living in relative comfort is still out of reach for single wage earners who are not working overtime.

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That's because according to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's living wage calculator, a single adult only providing for himself or herself must earn at least $11.08 per hour to make ends meet, while an adult raising one child needs to earn at least $22.96 an hour for the wage to be considered a living wage. Minimum wage earners in the Windy City have a bit of an advantage over other parts of Illinois: Chicago raised its minimum wage to $10 per hour in July 2015.

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It is cheaper to live in Illinois than in many other states because it has a relatively high minimum wage and median household income when compared to national averages, as well as a decently low cost of living.
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2015-05-09
Monday, 09 Nov 2015 08:05 PM
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