“A Case For $15: A Low Wage Work Crisis” details the impact of low wages on Chicago economy and communities.
The findings suggest that raising pay for low-wage food and retail workers will boost Chicago’s economic recovery and strengthen communities.
Key findings from the report include:
- If downtown low-wage workers earned $15/hour, it would generate an estimated $179 million in economic activity in workers’ communities-a result of increased direct spending by workers and the “multiplier effect” of local businesses benefiting from increased worker spending.
- Retailers and restaurants in downtown Chicago have not just weathered the recession but are also experiencing unprecedented profitability, with
CEO compensation packages averaging about $8.3 million in 2011. Meanwhile, paying the $15/hour rate would cost only $103 million a year-a negligible amount compared to profit figures and CEO pay.
- Because income inequality and socioeconomic status have consistently been identified among the best predictors of violent crime rates and educational outcomes, increasing wages for tens of thousands of Chicago households will help address some of the city’s most intractable problems.
Food and retail workers in Chicago have recently launched a campaign for $15/hour (Fightfor15.org) and the right to join a union without interference, citing the benefits of better pay and working conditions for the entire city. Action Now is proud to support these workers in their fight for a living wage!