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Panel says Chicago minimum wage should be $13

Published: Tuesday, July 8, 2014 6:00 a.m. CST

CHICAGO (AP) — A panel has recommended that Chicago raise its minimum wage to $13 an hour.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel asked the Minimum Wage Working Group to research the issue. On Monday the panel said the higher minimum wage should be phased in over four years. The panel says the higher wages would increase earnings for about 410,000 people — or 31 percent of Chicago workers — and inject nearly $800 million into the Chicago economy.

The Illinois minimum wage is currently $8.25 an hour and the federal minimum wage is $7.25. Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has said he supports raising the state's minimum wage.

Emanuel spokeswoman Kelley Quinn says the mayor "fully supports the group's balanced proposal."

The panel report says the wage increase could raise prices by up to 2 percent.

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