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Raises Coming Saturday For Chicago's 270,000 Minimum-Wage Workers

By Heather Cherone | June 29, 2017 5:46am | Updated on June 30, 2017 11:39am
"If you work full time, you shouldn't have to live in poverty," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said.
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DNAinfo/Heather Cherone

CHICAGO — Chicago employees who are paid the city's minimum wage will find a fatter paycheck than usual after Saturday, when they will get a 50 cents per hour raise.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel said he was pleased the next raise called for in a 2014 law will go into effect before the Fourth of July holiday, adding the additional money should provide Chicago workers with additional "independence."

"If you work full time, you shouldn't have to live in poverty," Emanuel said Wednesday.

In 2014, the minimum wage in Chicago was $8.25 an hour. As of Saturday, it will be $11 an hour — providing employees with a 33 percent raise since the measure was enacted in 2014, Emanuel said.

The raise is expected to affect about 270,000 Chicago workers, officials said.

Chicago's hourly minimum wage will rise to $12 on July 1, 2018, and $13 per hour on July 1, 2019. After that, annual raises will be based on the cost of living, as determined by federal officials.

A campaign to raise the city and the state's minimum wage to $15 an hour — which was rejected by the City Council in 2014 — has produced dozens of protests and rallies in recent months.