(David Mark / Pixabay)

Employment levels in Chicago and beyond have rebounded since the COVID-19 pandemic, but a new report has found teens and young adults across the city, particularly those of color, are still struggling to find consistent work.

Mayor Brandon Johnson and Rebecca Shi, executive director of the American Business Immigration Coalition, at a “Here to Work” roundtable event on April 4, 2024, at the Chicago Urban League, 4510 S. Michigan Ave. (WTTW News)

“Here to Work” advocates say extending legal work permits to long-term undocumented residents will help unite communities, stabilize the workforce and promote fair wages. Opponents argue that could come at a cost to taxpayers and drive down wages for legal citizens.

Karen Conn, president of Conn’s Hospitality Group in Springfield, speaks at a news conference April 3, 2024, at the Capitol. She said she will have to raise prices and cut employees’ hours and benefits if the state eliminates a tipped wage credit. (Cole Longcor / Capitol News Illinois)
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Current Illinois law allows employers to pay their tipped workers 60% of the state’s minimum wage. That amounts to $8.40 hourly, compared to the minimum wage of $14 per hour. If their wages plus tips do not equal minimum wage, the employer must make up the difference.

Illinois State Capitol. (WTTW News)
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Illinois has laws to protect against gender discrimination in pay, but it can be difficult for workers to know whether there’s a pay discrepancy. That may be easier to figure out starting next year.

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The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and several other state agencies are holding a job fair Thursday at the UIC Jane Addams College of Social Work.

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The new Workers Owed Wages website attempts to connect workers with potential unclaimed back pay.

Randy Conner (Courtesy City of Chicago)

Mayor Brandon Johnson praised former Water Commissioner Randy Conner as a “proven leader and someone who knows the ins and outs of infrastructure and water management,” in a statement.

Remote working. A four-day workweek. Quiet quitting. A resurgent labor movement. These are just a few of the changes workers and employers have been grappling with over the last few years.

Chicago City Hall. (Michael Izquierdo / WTTW News)
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The six-month delay means that workers in Illinois outside Chicago will have more flexibility to take paid time off than those in the city until July 1.

Chicago City Hall. (Michael Izquierdo / WTTW News)
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Once the proposal takes effect Dec. 31, Chicago workers will be able to take more sick leave than workers in New York City and Los Angeles. They will also be able to take time off for any reason, not just if they or a family member falls ill, unlike workers in any other U.S. city.

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If the measure is approved, Chicago workers would be entitled to more time off than workers in New York City and Los Angeles, and would be the first to earn time off for any reason, not just if they or a family member falls ill.

Chicago City Hall. (Michael Izquierdo / WTTW News)
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The proposal is at the core of the labor agenda for Mayor Brandon Johnson, a former organizer for the Chicago Teachers Union, who was elected with the unanimous support of Chicago’s progressive labor organizations.

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If the measure is approved, Chicago workers would be entitled to more time off than workers in New York City and Los Angeles, and would be the first to earn time off for any reason, not just if they or a family member falls ill.

Alexander, 3, who is being treated for developmental delays, holds a stuffed animal and watches Paw Patrol in the living room of his West Chicago, Ill., home Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2023. (AP Photo / Charles Rex Arbogast)

The federally mandated Early Intervention program is plagued by chronic staffing shortages nationwide, leaving thousands of desperate parents frustrated: They know their children need support, they’re aware of proven therapies that could make a difference, but they have to wait for months to get the help they need.

A server working in a restaurant. (WTTW News)
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Chicago joins Alaska, California, Guam, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Washington, D.C., in ending the tipped minimum wage.

A FedEx driver makes deliveries in Palatine, Ill., Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023. On Friday, the U.S. government issues its latest monthly jobs report. (AP Photo / Nam Y. Huh)

The economy has now added an average of 266,000 jobs a month for the past three months, a streak that could make it likelier that the Federal Reserve will raise its key rate again before year’s end as it continues its drive to tame inflation.