An all-of-the-above approach to helping struggling Americans needs to be undertaken, including raising the minimum wage, billionaire Chicago businessman JB Pritzker said on Tuesday.
"The people at the bottom who are working but working at relatively low wages need some help," argued the co-founder of the venture and private capital Pritzker Group—who donned a hockey jersey of the Stanley Cup-winning Chicago Blackhawks during a CNBC "Squawk Box" interview.
"It takes so long for the folks who are earning minimum wage to finally see a little bit of a rise ... that it takes a little nudge, I think, from government," he added. "You see it city-by-city. You're going to see it on a national level. And I think it's well overdue."
Over the weekend, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti signed into law a mandate that increases the minimum wage gradually to $15 per hour—the largest city in the nation to do so.
San Francisco and Seattle, Washington also have laws that eventually require an hourly pay floor of $15 an hour. Last year, Chicago passed a phased-in minimum wage increase to $13 an hour.
"As to what level you want to set that at, it shouldn't that's abnormally high. Everybody has to work with it," Pritzker said. "If it's done gradually, it can be absorbed."
He said fostering economic growth overall would also help raise wages, while education reform would better equip American workers for the jobs of the future that demand skills in science, technology, engineering, and math.
The powerful Pritzker family owes much of its fortune to creation of Hyatt Hotels of which JB's cousin, Thomas Pritzker, serves as executive chairman. JB Pritzker runs the Pritzker Group with his brother Tony. Their sister, Penny Pritzker, is the U.S. commerce secretary under President Barack Obama.