by Steven L. Brenneman
With a mayoral election looming and opponents challenging him from the left, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel pushed through a Chicago ordinance that will gradually increase the minimum wage to $13 per hour by 2019. Currently, the state minimum wage is $8.25 per hour. The new Chicago ordinance, passed December 2, establishes a $10-per-hour minimum wage on July 1, 2015. Increases of 50 cents per hour would be imposed in 2016 and 2017. After that, $1-per-hour increases would take effect in 2018 and 2019, with inflation-based increases thereafter.
The ordinance also raises the minimum wage for tipped employees by $1 over two years from the current state minimum of $4.95 to $5.45 as of July 1, 2015, and $5.95 as of July 1, 2016, to be indexed to inflation thereafter.