Tags: Minimum Wage | minimum wage | living wage | illinois

What's the Difference Between Minimum Wage and Living Wage in Illinois?

By    |   Monday, 28 Dec 2015 07:00 PM

The Midwestern state of Illinois is the country's fifth-most populous, and has a minimum wage that does not match its living wage, even if you reside in its largest metro area, Chicago, which recently raised its minimum wage to $10 per hour.

The minimum wage in Illinois is set at $8.25 per hour, which is a $1 more than the federal minimum wage. However, the statewide living wage is estimated at $11.08 per hour for a single adult, and $22.96 per hour for an adult raising one child, and thus out of minimum wage earners' reach without working overtime.

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A living wage is different from a minimum wage in that it is the amount a person must earn per hour to live in their state without assistance. A number of different costs are factored into calculating this necessary wage including food, housing, transportation, medical, and child care expenses among others, according to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which created a living wage calculator for all 50 states.

Minimum wage earners in Chicago, however, will have a bit of an advantage over other parts of Illinois since Chicago raised its minimum wage to $10 per hour in July, but costs are also slightly higher in the city and the wage is still less than the calculated living wage. According to MIT, the living wage in Chicago is $11.50 per hour.

That said, the minimum wage in Chicago is set to continue rising at least until 2019 when it reaches a mandatory rate of $13 per hour. After this date it will continue to increase by a percentage each year so long as the city's unemployment rate stays under 8.5 percent. The statewide minimum wage, however, is not set to rise at this rate, despite the fact that President Barack Obama has asked states to raise their minimum wages to $10.10. So far, though, only three states have made this wage hike law.

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

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The Midwestern state of Illinois is the country's fifth-most populous, and has a minimum wage that does not match its living wage, even if you reside in its largest metro area, Chicago, which recently raised its minimum wage to $10 per hour.
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2015-00-28
Monday, 28 Dec 2015 07:00 PM
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