Chicago Minimum Wage Increases to $15 an Hour Thursday

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Chicago's minimum wage is going up Thursday.

The minimum wage for workers at companies with more than 20 employees increases to $15 per hour starting July 1 under an ordinance passed in November 2019.

For companies that employ between four and 20 people, the minimum wage rises to $14 per hour. Those smaller businesses will then continue to see minimum wage increase by 50 cents per year to reach $15 an hour by 2023.

Restaurant workers and others who receive tips will now get a base rate of $9 per hour. But if they don't make $15 per hour on average overall, employers must make up the difference to reach that new citywide minimum wage.

And for youth workers, the minimum wage is now $11 per hour, rising until it reaches $15 an hour by 2025, when there will no longer be an exemption to the city's minimum wage ordinance for employees under 18.

By 2025, after increasing on schedules that vary by size and other factors, all businesses and workers in Chicago will have the same minimum wage citywide.

Beginning in 2022, the minimum wage in Chicago will increase each year at a rate tied to the consumer price index, capped at 2.5% annually.

The $15 per hour minimum wage starting in Chicago on Thursday makes it the highest minimum wage in Illinois currently - though the state will eventually reach $15 an hour as well.

Illinois' statewide minimum wage increased to $11 on Jan. 1 and will continue to gradually rise until it reaches $15 at the beginning of 2025.

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