Fast-food workers rally at a Chicago McDonald’s in July 2014 in support of raising the minimum wage.
Scott Olson/Getty Images

By 2019, people earning minimum wage in Chicago will be making $13 an hour, up from the current $8.25 an hour, thanks to a recent vote by the Chicago City Council to approve a proposal by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Al-Jazeera reports.

“We want to make sure people can afford to live here,” Emanuel said after the vote, which, according to Al-Jazeera, was opposed by business groups.

Advertisement

Political observers suspect that Emanuel is greasing the wheels for elections next year.

“Emanuel’s support of the increase could help him counter challengers in his re-election bid who claim that he favors business interests over working people. The mayoral election is in February,” the news site explains.

The wage increase is expected to boost Chicago’s economy. “The ordinance will affect more than 400,000 workers in the city and add some $800 million to the Chicago economy, according to a mayoral panel appointed to study the issue,” the site reported.

Advertisement

However, some local lawmakers say the increase is not enough. “Grassroots Illinois Action applauded the increase but said it would continue to fight for a $15 minimum wage, which had been proposed by some of Chicago’s aldermen,” Al-Jazeera explained.

Read more at Al-Jazeera.