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Raise in Minimum Wage Helps Those With Illinois Jobs

Posted on July 31, 2008

If you are looking for an Illinois job, or currently have one, you should know the state’s minimum wage recently increased.

At the beginning of this month, the State of Illinois’ minimum wage increased to $7.75 per hour. The extra money is expected to help more than 650,000 workers cope with the rising cost of living and pay for basic necessities.

In December 2006, according to a press release from the State of Illinois, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich raised the state’s minimum wage to $7.50, and set a plan in motion to add an additional 25 cents to the minimum wage for the next three years, ending at $8.25 in July 2010.

“Thousands of workers struggle every day at work to provide for their families,” Blagojevich said. “During a time of national economic crisis, increasing IllinoisÂ’ minimum wage will help workers put food on the table, pay for gas, and provide healthcare and education for their families.”

The increase in minimum wage is expected to generate an additional $520 in annual wages for a full-time minimum wage worker, and $1,040 for a family of two minimum wage workers.

In comparison, according to the United States Department of Labor Employment Standards Administration, the national minimum wage was set at $5.85 in July 2007 and increased to $6.55 in July 2008. The national minimum wage is expected to reach $7.25 by July 2009.

“Research has shown that a higher minimum wage contributes to more jobs and a stronger economy,” the article notes. “Approximately 144,000 of the workers who would benefit directly from the minimum wage increase are working parents, and nearly 60 percent of them are women, according to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) and Voices for Illinois Children (VIC). Over 80 percent of minimum wage workers in Illinois are working adults, not teenagers, and one-third of minimum wage earners are sole breadwinners for their families. Additionally, increasing the minimum wage will help boost the standard of living for 269,000 Illinois children, according to the EPI and VIC.”

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