* Mayor Emanuel refused to say earlier this month whether he’d push to raise Chicago’s minimum wage if the state raises its minimum wage. Yesterday, he changed his tune…
Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Tuesday that he would push aldermen to raise Chicago’s minimum wage to $13 an hour no matter what Springfield lawmakers do on the issue this year.
Previously, the mayor had declined to say whether the city would move ahead with its own higher minimum wage even if state lawmakers raised the statewide minimum wage to $10 after the November election.
“Illinois should do it, and when Illinois does it, we’re going to take the steps necessary to get us to the $13 here in the city of Chicago, because it’s relevant to making sure work pays and making sure people can afford to live in the city of Chicago,” Emanuel said at a news conference about Chicago public high school graduation rates.
“I’m committed … to seeing an increase in the minimum wage so people can afford to live in Chicago. And more importantly than living in Chicago, which is very important to me, is making sure that, if you work, a child is not raised in poverty.”
One day after joining Quinn and Vice-President Joe Biden at a roundtable on the minimum wage issue, Emanuel noted that 400,000 Chicagoans, “mainly mothers,” stand to benefit from a $13-an-hour minimum wage that would help them “meet their obligations” to their children.
* Meanwhile, Voices for Illinois Children has released a report supporting a hike in the minimum wage…
Raising the minimum wage to at least $10.10 an hour would benefit an estimated 1.1 million Illinois workers — over 20 percent of Illinois’ workforce — and nearly one in five Illinois children (about 583,000) who have a parent who would earn higher wages. On average, parents who would benefit from an increase are responsible for a majority of their families’ income. Raising the minimum wage would boost total family income, helping these families who work hard and struggle to get by on low wages the afford basic necessities.
Children in families with enough income to cover basic necessities are healthier, have more success in school, and earn more as adults. In contrast, children whose families struggle economically are more likely to experience harmful levels of stress, more likely to struggle in school, and more likely to have health problems than their peers. By raising the minimum wage, more working families would be able to meet their children’s basic needs, reducing the adverse effects of poverty on child well-being. […]
Workers who would benefit include both those who currently earn between $8.25 and $10.10 an hour (over 700,000 men and women), as well as those who currently earn a wage at or slightly above $10.10 an hour (about 400,000 workers). Many in the latter group would benefit because employers often raise wages in order to maintain a “wage ladder” for different job levels, economists have found. Of workers who would benefit, 56 percent are women, and a majority is at least 30 years old. Over 50 percent of benefiting workers work full-time (at least 35 hours a week), and nearly half have at least some college experience
* Dot points…
• 86 percent are at least 20 years old, and about 35 percent are at least 40 years old,
• more than one third are married, and about one in four have children, and
• almost 90 percent have at least a high school diploma, and 55 percent have at least some college education.
The report also cites studies which purport to show that minimum wage increases aren’t job killers.