The City of Chicago sits on a potential $179 million stimulus package, according to research. That’s the amount that would be generated if downtown companies raised the wages of their retail and fast food workers to $15 an hour.
Further research by the Economic Policy Institute shows that raising the minimum wage would put more than $800 million into the Massachusetts economy and create 4,500 new jobs. Illinois’ state legislature failed to pass a bill that would increase the state’s minimum wage to $10.65 over the next few years. EPI says it would “help working families hardest hit by the recession.”
One full-time job would result for every 25 downtown workers that receive a raise to $15 an hour. This stimulus does not need to come from the federal government or even the state. Private companies that depend upon a robust economy can strengthen our local economy by paying their workers a living wage.