Chicago’s hourly minimum wage goes up from the state level of $8.25 to $10 on Wednesday.
The $1.75 wage hike taking effect today represents the first increase under the city’s $13 minimum wage ordinance, approved by the Chicago City Council in December.
The wage increase to $10 will immediately affect some 400,000 workers.
Under the city ordinance, Chicago’s minimum wage will increase by 50 cents in both July 2016 and July 2017. Then, the rate will increase by $1 in July 2018 and July 2019 to hit $13 per hour.
After 2019, the minimum wage will be adjusted annually for inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index, with such increases capped at 2.5 percent. However, there will be no future inflationary hikes to the minimum wage after 2019 in any year when the unemployment rate is 8.5 percent or greater.
The tipped minimum wage, which is currently $4.95 at the state level, will be lifted by $1 to $5.95 by 2016 and indexed to inflation after that.
Low-wage worker advocates with Raise Chicago consider Chicago’s new minimum wage policy to be a good step forward, but they say they won’t stop fighting for an increase to $15 an hour.
Last month, Los Angeles became the biggest U.S. city to pass a $15 minimum wage ordinance.