SPRINGFIELD — Minimum-wage workers, many of whom spent Thursday striking, should look at Illinois before convincing themselves that a higher minimum wage will solve their problems.
Illinois is one of the best paying states in the country, but the economic reality in the Land of Lincoln proves why a higher minimum wage does not make things better for low wage workers.
Illinois' $8.25 an hour is the fourth highest minimum wage in the country. Only Washington, Oregon and Vermont pay more.
But Illinois has the second highest unemployment rate in the country. Only Nevada is worse.
Illinois' 9.2 percent jobless rate dwarfs the national rate — 7.2 percent.
"While we can't place all the blame of our state's woes on the minimum wage, it clearly is a factor and one of the reasons Illinois continues to seriously lag behind our neighbors," Kim Clark Maisch, Illinois' director for the National Federation of Independent Business, said.