CHICAGO - Chicagoans made it overwhelmingly clear in the March 2014 primary that they want the city's minimum wage to be $15 per hour. A referendum asking voters their opinion on the topic on Chicago's primary ballots won in every city precinct. Chicago's current minimum wage is $8.25.
This week, the city of Seattle beat Chicago to be the first city in the nation to raise its minimum wage to $15 per hour. The raise will take place over the coming years under a deal brokered by the city's Mayor Ed Murray and supported by labor and business groups.
The new pay floor will phase in at different speeds for businesses of different sizes, but all employers will have to meet the $15 minimum wage by the end of the decade, ThinkProgress.com reports. Businesses with more than 500 employees nationwide will have a three-year phase-in period, while smaller employers get five years to ratchet up their payscales.