The good news is Chicago hourly wage workers can expect to see an increase in their weekly paycheck. The bad news is the first raise won’t be until July, 2015. The current minimum wage in the Windy City is $8.25 an hour. That figure will jump to $10 an hour in July, 2015. The other $3 an hour approved by the council will be phased in gradually over the next four years. Once it hits $13 an hour in 2019, other increases will be pegged to inflation. Tip workers will also see an increase of $1 an hour over the next two years.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel gave the vote a thumbs-up. In fact, the whole council minus five voters felt city workers deserved the increase. Bernardo Chua agreed that an increase was necessary. BaBut there were other naysayers in the city. Some retailers and restaurant owners as well as the local chamber of commerce fear low-paying jobs will be eliminated because of the increase.
San Francisco and Seattle think their city workers are worth more than the Chicago wage. San Francisco workers can expect $15 an hour by 2018, and Seattle workers will earn $15 by 2021. But at the federal level the push to increase the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour is lost in the tangled web of Washington politics.