Report: $15 minimum wage would have largest impacts outside Chicago

LA GRANGE, Ill. (WEEK) — A new report found a $15 statewide minimum hourly wage would have the highest impact for low-income workers outside Chicago.

The report from the left-leaning Illinois Economic Policy Institute and the Project for Middle Class Renewal at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign found workers in Central Illinois would see the biggest bump in take-home pay with a $15 minimum wage.

On Thursday, the Illinois Senate passed a bill to gradually increase the minimum wage from the current $8.25 an hour to $15 an hour by 2025.

Republicans and many business groups have expressed concerns about the impacts of a higher minimum wage on small businesses, particularly downstate, where the cost of living is lower than the Chicago region.

The study found workers in the Bloomington area, which includes McLean, Tazewell and Logan counties in this analysis, would see an average $8,000 raise. The adjoining Champaign-Urbana area would see an average $7,000 raise.

Chicago currently has a $12 an hour minimum wage, slated to go to $13 an hour in July. Cook County has an $11 an hour minimum wage.

No data for the Peoria area was included in the study’s data. The study surveyed the Bloomington, Champaign, Chicago, Rockford, Springfield and Metro East regions.

In 2014, 66 percent of voters cast a ballot in favor of raising the adult minimum wage on an advisory referendum. In Central Illinois, only Tazewell and Woodford counties showed less than half of total voter support for the measure.

The full report is here. 

No data for the Peoria area was included in the study’s data. The study surveyed the Bloomington, Champaign, Chicago, Rockford, Springfield and Metro East regions.

In 2014, 66 percent of voters cast a ballot in favor of raising the adult minimum wage on an advisory referendum. In Central Illinois, only Tazewell and Woodford counties showed less than half of total voter support for the measure.

The full report is here. 

Tim Shelley

Tim Shelley

Social Media & Digital Content Manager
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