CHICAGO (AP) – Illinoisans will ring in the New Year with an additional increase in the minimum wage to $11 an hour, and the Illinois Department of Labor is encouraging employees to watch their paychecks to ensure that time worked in 2021 is paid at the new rate.
Gov. JB Pritzker signed legislation into law in 2019 providing a path to a $15 minimum wage by 2025. Minimum wage earners received two increases in 2020 to $9.25 an hour on January 1 followed by an increase to $10 an hour on July 1.
The minimum wage will continue to increase an additional $1 an hour each January 1 until it reaches $15 an hour in 2025.
Prior to the 2020 increases, the last time Illinois increased its minimum wage was more than a decade ago in 2010 when it was raised to $8.25. Cook County has a higher minimum wage than the state, currently $13 an hour.
The current city of Chicago minimum wage is $13.50 an hour for small employers (4 to 20 employees) and $14 an hour for large employers (21 or more employees).
A recent study by the Illinois Economic Policy Institute at the University of Illinois indicated that more than 1.4 million adult hourly workers in Illinois make less than $15 per hour.