The Illinois Chamber of Commerce said it agrees with Governor Quinn Illinois is turning the corner but cautions the governor on becoming too optimistic about the status quo. The Chamber says the state still has the third highest unemployment rate in the nation and a Moody's study predicts the state's job creation potential in the future will be dead last among the 50 states. The Chamber said it was frustrated by the governor's call for an increase in the minimum wage and mandated paid time off for workers. The Chamber says the governor calls for a renewed focus to help small businesses and then turns around in the same speech and call for policies, the Chamber says, will kill small business jobs. Meantime, the President and CEO of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association say they are opposed to an increase in the minimum wage, saying Illinois already has one of the highest minimum wages in the country. The IRMA says raising the wage would force employers to cut jobs , especially affecting teenagers and wouldn't alleviate poverty. The IRMA says the minimum wage has increased 50 percent in the past ten years while the poverty rate has risen from 11 to 15 percent
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