It always has to pencil out.
And Quinn wants to raise the minimum wage by 21 percent.
This would leave low-skill workers vulnerable — very vulnerable.
Instead of having a low-paying job, they could face the prospect of no job at all.
“I’ll be the first to admit that you can’t support a family on a minimum-wage job,” said Kim Clarke Maisch, who heads the Illinois chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business. “But the vast majority of people with minimum-wage jobs are high school students, college students and people who aren’t the primary earner in their families.”
Illinois already has a minimum wage higher than any of its neighbors — and it has an unemployment rate higher them, too.
If a higher minimum wage would boost the economy — as Gov. Quinn and some of his would-be GOP opponents contend — we should now have the most prosperous job market in the Midwest, not the worst one.
Increasing the cost of labor will further exacerbate the problem.
Low-skill workers will be denied that first rung on the economic ladder that they need to climb out of poverty.
And let’s face it: Working beats being unemployed any day of the week.
Not only does work provide income, it also enhances a person’s self-worth.
Raising the minimum wage will make some low-skill workers too costly to hire.
And that’s denying opportunity to those who need it most.
Scott Reeder is a veteran statehouse reporter and the journalist in residence at the Illinois Policy Institute. He can be reached at email@example.com.