News & Politics

grandmab125
Minimum wage hike would hurt low income workers....
August 30, 2013 at 9:19 PM

 

Minimum-wage hike would hurt low-income workers

By Benjamin Yount | Illinois Watchdog

SPRINGFIELD  -  Minimum-wage workers, many of whom spent Thursday striking, should look at Illinois before convincing themselves that a higher minimum wage will solve their problems.

HIGHER WAGE, FEWER PROBLEMS? Low wage workers aren't always helped by higher minimum wage.

HIGHER WAGE, FEWER PROBLEMS? Low wage workers aren't always helped by higher minimum wage.

Illinois is one of the best paying states in the country, but the economic reality in the Land of Lincoln proves why a higher minimum wage does not make things better for low wage workers.

Illinois' $8.25 an hour is the fourth highest minimum wage in the country. Only Washington, Oregon and Vermont pay more.

But Illinois has the second highest unemployment rate in the country. Only Nevada is worse.

Illinois' 9.2 percent jobless rate dwarfs the national rate - 7.2 percent.

"While we can't place all the blame of our state's woes on the minimum wage, it clearly is a factor and one of the reasons Illinois continues to seriously lag behind our neighbors," Kim Clark Maisch, Illinois' director for the National Federation of Independent Business, said.

In other words, someone working a minimum wage job in Iowa earns a dollar less, but because Iowa has half the unemployment - 4.8 percent - there more jobs to be had.

If nearly one in 10 people not having a job wasn't bad enough, Maisch said the figures are far worse for the people who usually work minimum wage jobs.

"In fact, teen unemployment (16-19 year olds) is around 26.5 percent in Illinois and 48 percent in the city of Chicago," Maisch said.

LET BUSINESSES BE: Maisch says Illinois businesses want the government off their backs.

LET BUSINESSES BE: Maisch says Illinois businesses want the government off their backs.

That means half the young people in Illinois' largest city cannot find a job. No minimum wage, no matter how high, is helping them.

And don't kid yourself, young people are the ones doing most of the work for minimum wage.

As a 2012 Bureau of Labor Statistics report notes "Although workers under age 25 represented only about one-fifth of hourly paid workers, they made up about half of those paid the federal minimum wage."

Maisch said most minimum-wage workers are only part time, few are the heads of households, and less than 5 percent are adults who work full time.

But even full time at minimum wage does not make someone poor.

The federal government's poverty threshold defines a single person making less $11,490 as poor. Working 40 hours a week, someone making Illinois' $8.25 an hour would earn $17,160 a year.

The feds say a family of four is poor if they earn less than $23,550. If both parents work minimum wage jobs in Illinois, they'd bring home $34,320.

That family of four would earn more than $40,000 a year if Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has his way.

Quinn has been pushing to raise Illinois' minimum wage to $10 an hour.

Maisch said if Illinois can't find jobs for its citizens while paying $8.25, what will the state look like at $10 an hour.

$40,000 A YEAR: A $10 minimum wage equals about $40,000 a year.

$40,000 A YEAR: A $10 minimum wage equals about $40,000 a year.

"If government would stop intervening by setting artificial wage rates, mandating expensive and burdensome regulations like Obamacare, and stop throwing roadblocks up to starting small businesses our state and our country would be much better off," Maisch said. " When I ask my members - small business owners - what do you need to help you succeed in your business they say "tell government to get out of the way."

Contact Benjamin Yount at Ben@IllinoisWatchdog.org or find him on Twitter @BenYount.

Replies

  • -Celestial-
    August 30, 2013 at 9:33 PM
    Ooooooooooo a whole 8.25 an hour. They can buy a can of tuna with their ramen noodle cups


    And illinois and greece is always the scapegoat
  • grandmab125
    August 31, 2013 at 12:21 PM

    BUMP!

  • Billiejeens
    August 31, 2013 at 8:30 PM
    I am to the point where I think turning a little nerve gas loose, is not a horrible idea.

  • Kathy489
    August 31, 2013 at 9:08 PM

     $8.25 is a pretty decent wage for someone who is uneducated, especially a teenager who may only be working part time. If you want more than ramen noodles, then make something more of yourself.


    Quoting -Celestial-:

    Ooooooooooo a whole 8.25 an hour. They can buy a can of tuna with their ramen noodle cups


    And illinois and greece is always the scapegoat


     

  • jobseeker
    August 31, 2013 at 9:10 PM

    how did they get to $40,000?

    $10/hour x 40 hours in a work week = $400 / week

    $400(week )x 52 (weks/year )= $20,800/year

    In order to earn $40,000 the hourly wage has to be about $19.25


  • Kathy489
    August 31, 2013 at 9:20 PM

     

    You're right. But they are figuring that both parents will continue to work, as stated in the example, so take your math and double it.

    Quoting jobseeker:

    how did they get to $40,000?

    $10/hour x 40 hours in a work week = $400 / week

    $400(week )x 52 (weks/year )= $20,800/year

    In order to earn $40,000 the hourly wage has to be about $19.25

     


     

  • kcangel63
    August 31, 2013 at 11:47 PM
    "... they say "tell government to get out of the way.""

    This exactly. Let people control the market. Supply and demand. If someone wants a higher paying job, they can find one. If they aren't qualified for one, they can't expect their mediocre job to pay them more "just because".

  • grandmab125
    September 1, 2013 at 12:15 AM

     Wake up.....IL has a $100B debt for unfunded state pensions, and owes $6B in unpaid bills.  IL, CA, NY and the out of control Fed gov't will be the next Greece.

    Quoting -Celestial-:

    Ooooooooooo a whole 8.25 an hour. They can buy a can of tuna with their ramen noodle cups


    And illinois and greece is always the scapegoat

     

  • Sisteract
    September 1, 2013 at 12:58 AM

    You're far behind- You can nix CA from the list- we righted the ship here.

    Quoting grandmab125:

     Wake up.....IL has a $100B debt for unfunded state pensions, and owes $6B in unpaid bills.  IL, CA, NY and the out of control Fed gov't will be the next Greece.

    Quoting -Celestial-:

    Ooooooooooo a whole 8.25 an hour. They can buy a can of tuna with their ramen noodle cups


    And illinois and greece is always the scapegoat

     


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