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).
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.
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...