Thursday, May 22, 2014

UIS survey: 'Ideal' minimum wage more than $8.25

More than 80 percent of business owners surveyed on the long-term outlook for the Sangamon County economy said the ideal minimum wage in Illinois is somewhere above the $8.25 an hour required under state law.

But 77 percent said they worry that a required increase will hurt their bottom lines. The report cited U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data that show 10 percent of Sangamon County workers earn less than $9.01 an hour.

The seemingly conflicting responses from 201 businesses and not-for-profits in the survey released Wednesday reflect a desire to pay more and a traditional wariness of state mandates, said Ashley Kirzinger, director of the University of Illinois Springfield Survey Research Office.

UIS conducts spring and fall surveys in cooperation with The Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce.

“They want to pay more than $8.25 an hour, and a fair number already pay above $10 an hour,” Kirzinger said. “They are not the McDonald’s, the Wal-Marts. They’re more locally owned and have been in the community for a long time.”

Kirzinger said the survey found the majority believed an increase in the minimum wage would hurt other small businesses and organizations more than their own.

The story was published by The State Journal-Register on May 22, 2014.

Read the article online