Panel: Chicago minimum wage should be $13 - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Panel: Chicago minimum wage should be $13

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - Some local workers could see a boost to their bank accounts in the near future. A panel has recommended that Chicago raise its minimum wage to $13 an hour.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel asked the Minimum Wage Working Group to research the issue. On Monday the panel said the higher minimum wage should be phased in over four years. The panel says the higher wages would increase earnings for about 410,000 people - or 31 percent of Chicago workers - and inject nearly $800 million into the Chicago economy.

The Illinois minimum wage is currently $8.25 an hour and the federal minimum wage is $7.25. Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has said he supports raising the state's minimum wage.

Emanuel spokeswoman Kelley Quinn says the mayor "fully supports the group's balanced proposal."

The panel report says the wage increase could raise prices by up to 2 percent.

Tuesday, Mayor Emanuel is expected to appear at a social service agency that empowers women to talk about the issue. Many of the people pushing for the higher minimum wage are women that work multiple jobs trying to support a family.

The Chicago Sun Times reports the Illinois Restaurant Association and some other merchant groups oppose a higher minimum wage, saying it is too difficult to do business in Chicago.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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