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Letter: Don't hike the minimum wage

Published: Friday, May 17, 2013 10:15 a.m. CDT

To the Editor: Illinois job creators are speaking with one voice: Adverse consequences from hiking Illinois' minimum wage will far outweigh the alleged benefits that some are trying to accomplish in Springfield.

Senate Bill 68 will seek to increase Illinois' minimum wage to $10 per hour. Illinois already has the fourth-highest minimum wage in the nation at $8.25 per hour, higher than all neighboring states.

Employers cannot bear the repercussions of a minimum wage hike, and jobs will be lost. While national unemployment has dropped, unemployment in Illinois continues to rise this year, now standing at 9.5 percent. The overwhelming number of minimum wage workers is young people, often in their first job, and their rate of unemployment (16 to 19 years of age) stands at 26.5 percent in Illinois and 48 percent in the city of Chicago.

Employers already are bracing for the uncertain effects of implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in Illinois, estimated by analysts at about $3,000 in extra costs per employee.

Higher minimum wages do not alleviate poverty. While the few employees who earn a wage increase might benefit from a wage hike, those that lose their job are noticeably worse off.

As the job creators in Illinois, we cannot stand idly by and see our state slip back into a recession. Not now. Not ever again.

David Vite Illinois Retail Merchants Association, president/CEO

Kim Maisch National Federation of Independent Business, Illinois director

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