CHICAGO - Fifteen dollars an hour is a fair wage for those working in Chicago restaurants and retail stores, Occupy Chicago related groups Action Now and Stand Up! Chicago argue in a report issued Tuesday.
Following the Occupy movement's ongoing theme of wealth redistribution, the report, "A Case for $15" evaluated the plight of low income workers in Chicago and came up with five points they believe show a critical need to increase Illinois' current $8.25 per hour minimum wage to $15 per hour.
1. Low wage jobs made up 21% of all the jobs lost during the recession, yet have represented 58% of the entire job recovery.
2. About 57% of all households in Chicago depend solely on low wage jobs.
3. In the years following the end of the recession, the top 1% of the income distribution captured 93% of all real income growth.
4. Downtown employers can afford a very signficant increase in wages paid to their low wage workers.
5. An increase in pay for downtown workers would spur about $179 million in economic activity in workers' communities, and for every 25 low wage workers receiving a raise to $15 per hour, one full time job would be created.
Illinois taxpayers may look for this minimum wage increase legislation to be introduced next spring to the Illinois General Assembly, if not before then.