DeKALB- The minimum wage has been raised from $11 to $12 earlier this year, according to a press release posted on illinois.gov. The state is also planning to raise the minimum to $15 by 2025.
Illinois hadn’t seen a wage increase since 2010 when the state boosted the minimum wage to $8.25. Chicago, however, increased the minimum wage for employers with 21 or more workers to $15 on July 21, 2021.
Daniel Maze, first-year engineering major, thinks that seeing the minimum wage raise a dollar is a good step in the right direction but he would like to see more major changes.
“Yeah it’s a good thing that the city is trying to boost up the wage but Chicago has been setting the pace pretty well in having their minimum at $15, so I much rather would have something like that,” Maze said. “The cost of living far exceeds the wage at most places here and as a recent job seeker, that could kind of leave doubts in your head on whether or not pursuing a part time job is even worth the hassle.”
Chair of Economics Carl Campbell, believes there truly isn’t any cause for concern for living costs even with a minimum wage increase.
“The state is already planning on raising the wage to $15, I believe, in 2025,” Campbell said “Many workers have already been getting paid more than the minimum for a while now too so I don’t see there being an issue with that. As for concerns about inflation, there shouldn’t be an issue with that. The causes for inflation you see now is because of production.”
Campbell also thinks that the state’s plan in boosting up the wage to $15 in 2025 could only aid in the issue employers are seeing with labor shortage.
“With jobs paying more, of course, it’s going to draw in more workers because they’ll be able to make more money,” Campbell said.
Nick De Leon, Treasurer of Phi Kappa Sigma and senior business administration major, said he wanted the $15 raise to happen this year, rather than 2025.
“Yes, the raise is something that has been long overdue, but what’s one dollar really going to change?” DeLeon said. “I would assume that there are more residents than students in DeKalb, so one would think the city would be pushing harder to raise the wage for the residents.”
Evelina Caref, first-year psychology major, said that any type of raise to the minimum could only benefit students and the residents of DeKalb.
“Personally I would’ve loved to see it go up to what Chicago has it at,” Caref said. “But still, any type of raise is only going to help. I know others probably would like it to be higher but in small towns like this I assume it’s harder to raise the minimum to what a big city could have.”
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