Minimum wage is going up in Illinois at the start of the new year.
The wage will increase a dollar to $9.25 on January 1st.
It’ll be followed by a .75 cents increase on July 1st. By 2025, minimum wage will be at 15 dollars an hour.
Governor J.B. Pritzker signed the pay increases into law in February.
Meroe Devord, is a maintenance manager. He says he hasn’t had a minimum wage paid job since he was in his teens, but he believes by increasing the pay it could help the economy.
“Over due, definitely overdue,” he says. “It’s a good thing people can’t live off minimum wage, I’ve been unemployed for six months, and was very picky about what I chose because I can not make it off minimum wage.”
“Within the next 7 months we’re going to see the minimum wage go up to 8.25 all the way up to 10 dollars per hour. for Illinois based businesses,”says Tyler Power, Director of Government Affairs for the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce.
He says he has been opposed of the increase since the beginning.
“It’s simply because, by the time that this scale is done our Illinois businesses is going to have twice the labor cost.”
He says unfortunately some employers may have to reduce their cost by laying off workers. Powwers says finding that balance could be a challenge.
“They are no longer going to be making 8.25 an hour or 10 dollar an hour, they might be unemployed, may have to work in a different position like Iowa so they actually take a pay cut . There’s a whole list of ramifications, and it’s truly cause we live in a bi state region, but time will tell .”
Workers who rely on tips can legally be paid a wage as low as $4.95 an hour, with tips making up the difference to reach the minimum wage.