from the will-code-for-gold dept.
The NYT reports that in a unanimous vote, the Seattle City Council went where no big-city lawmakers have gone before, raising the local minimum wage to $15 an hour, more than double the federal minimum, and pushing Seattle to the forefront of urban efforts to address income inequality. "Even before the Great Recession a lot of us have started to have doubt and concern about the basic economic promise that underpins economic life in the United States," says Council Member Sally J. Clark. "Today Seattle answers that challenge." High-tech, fast-growing Seattle, population 634,535, is home to Amazon.com, Zillow, and Starbucks. It also has more than 100,000 workers whose incomes are insufficient to support their families, according to city figures and around 14% of Seattle's population lives below the poverty level. Some business owners have questioned the proposal saying that the city's booming economy is creating an illusion of permanence. "We're living in this bubble of Amazon, but that's not going to go on," says businessman Tom Douglas. "There's going to be some terrific price inflation."
NPR (formerly National Public Radio) reports:
By a 44-5 vote, Chicago's City Council set a minimum-wage target of $13 an hour, to be reached by the middle of 2019. The move comes after Illinois passed a nonbinding advisory last month that calls for the state to raise its minimum pay level to $10 by the start of next year.
The current minimum wage in Chicago and the rest of Illinois is $8.25. Under the ordinance, the city's minimum wage will rise to $10 by next July and go up in increments each summer thereafter.
[...]The bill states that "rising inflation has outpaced the growth in the minimum wage, leaving the true value of lllinois' current minimum wage of $8.25 per hour 32 percent below the 1968 level of $10.71 per hour (in 2013 dollars)."
It also says nearly a third of Chicago's workers, or some 410,000 people, currently make $13 an hour or less.
[...][In the 2014] midterm elections, voters in Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota approved binding referendums that raise their states' wage floor above the federal minimum.
Media Matters for America notes that The Chicago Tribune's coverage tried to trot out the *job-killer* dead horse once again, to which the response was
According to a March 2014 report(PDF) prepared for the Seattle Income Inequality Advisory Committee titled "Local Minimum Wage laws: Impacts on Workers, Families, and Businesses", city-wide minimum wage increases in multiple locations--Albuquerque, NM; Santa Fe, NM; San Francisco, CA; and Washington, DC--produced "no discernible negative effects on employment" and no measurable job shift from metropolitan to suburban areas.