New Law Will Lift 200,000 Low-Wage Workers Out of Poverty
February 15, 2019
Following years of persistent advocacy with and for low-wage workers in Illinois, the Shriver Center on Poverty Law welcomes the enactment of legislation that will increase the state’s minimum wage. Under the new law, the statewide minimum wage will increase from $8.25 to $9.25 per hour on January 1, 2020. The minimum wage again will increase to $10 per hour on July 1, 2020, and will then go up $1 per hour each year on January 1 until hitting $15 per hour in 2025.
Low minimum wages disproportionately burden women and people of color because structural racism and gender bias push these groups into low-wage jobs. Almost two-thirds of minimum wage workers are women. Moreover, people of color constitute about 40% of minimum wage workers even though they make up only about a third of the overall labor force. The increase in Illinois’s minimum wage is projected to lift more than 200,000 workers out of poverty. Moreover, it is also projected to boost the Illinois economy by billions of dollars a year by putting more money in the pockets of everyday people who will spend in their communities.
The Shriver Center applauds state leaders for taking this step to make Illinois more equitable, in part by supporting economic opportunity for the communities that need it the most.