COOK COUNTY -- The hourly minimum wage in suburban Chicago will be increased to $13 in action taken by the Cook County board.
Wednesday's action will gradually raise the minimum wage. The first increase, to $10 an hour, takes effect July 1, 2017. The wage rises to $11 a year later and to $12 in July 2019. It becomes $13 an hour in 2020.
The law applies to the entire county, including unincorporated areas. However, home-rule communities can vote to opt out of the increase.
Trade groups representing the retail and restaurant industries oppose the measure, saying businesses operating on 3 to 5 percent profit margins already are squeezed by a battery of cost increases, including a federal rule extending overtime pay to millions more Americans that takes effect Dec. 1.