Illinois House Testimonies on the Consequences of Repealing Prevailing Wage

On Tuesday, February 27, the Labor and Commerce Committee in the Illinois House held a hearing titled “Impacts of Repealing the Prevailing Wage.” Frank Manzo IV, MPP, Policy Director of the Illinois Economic Policy Institute (ILEPI); Robert Bruno, Ph.D., Director of the Project for Middle Class Renewal at the University of Illinois; and Kevin Duncan, Ph.D., Professor of Economics at Colorado State University-Pueblo submitted testimonies.

The following article provides condensed versions of those testimonies.

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Economic Inequality in Illinois

First-Of-Its-Kind Study for Illinois Finds that Inequality has Increased to Great Depression-Era Levels, Driven by a Redistribution of Wealth from Labor to Capital

Economic inequality in Illinois has increased to levels not seen in decades, according to a new study by the Illinois Economic Policy Institute (ILEPI).

The report, entitled The History of Economic Inequality in Illinois: 1850-2014, is the first ever historical analysis of wealth inequality, income inequality, and the labor-capital divide in Illinois.

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Illinois Needs a $10 Minimum Wage Just to Keep Up With Inflation

Economists across the country have advocated for raising the minimum wage, claiming that the benefits outweigh the costs. For example, increasing the minimum wage has been found to boost consumer spending and reduce income inequality in the economy.

The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour and has not been increased since 2009. Though the federal rate has not increased in 7 years, many states and localities have raised their own minimum wages. Chicago raised its local minimum wage to $10.00 in 2015. By 2019, the City is expected to have a minimum wage of $13.00, per an ordinance passed by the City Council. Continue reading “Illinois Needs a $10 Minimum Wage Just to Keep Up With Inflation”