The Stimulus New Jersey Needs: Raising the Minimum Wage Would Boost the Economy While Providing Better Opportunities for Hundreds of Thousands of Working New Jerseyans

Jon Whiten

New Jersey Policy Perspective

Increasing New Jersey’s minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.25 per hour would give nearly half a million working New Jerseyans a crucial leg up in high-cost New Jersey while pumping hundreds of millions of dollars into the state’s economy.

Raising the wage would impact a total of 429,000 working New Jerseyans, or 11 percent of the state’s workforce. That includes 241,000 who are directly affected (workers currently making between $7.25 and $8.25 per hour) and 188,000 who are indirectly affected (workers making between $8.25 and $9.25 per hour whose wages would increase as pay scales are adjusted upwards).[1]

These workers, if they work 40 hours each week of the year, have pre-tax annual earnings of between $15,000 and $20,000 – nowhere near the minimum of $28,593 it takes for a single adult to meet his or her basic needs.[2]

Background

New Jersey’s minimum wage is currently $7.25 per hour, the same as the federal wage floor. Last year, the New Jersey legislature approved a bill that would have raised New Jersey’s minimum wage by $1.25 to $8.50 per hour. The increase would have gone into effect on March 1, 2013 and would have tied future annual increases to...

Original Article

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