Study: Increasing minimum wage would benefit Illinois

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Wrinkled dollar bills and a quarter adding up to $7.25, the current (as of 2016) U.S. Federal Minimum wage.

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A study by an Illinois nonprofit says raising the state’s minimum wage would help some residents out of poverty and increase economic activity.

The State Journal-Register reports the Illinois Economic Policy Institute examined what would happen if the state raised minimum wage from $8.25 an hour to $10, $13 or $15 an hour. The study found increases would affect between 353,000 and 1.4 million workers, and grow the economy by between $5 billion and $19 billion a year.

Critics of raising minimum wage say it would cause low-income workers to lose jobs or have fewer hours.

Lawmakers last year approved a bill that would gradually raise Indiana’s minimum wage to $15 an hour. Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed the measure.

The study was done in collaboration with the University of Illinois’ Project for Middle Class Renewal.

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