Approximately 350,000 workers will see bigger paychecks due to yesterday’s increase of the state minimum wage to $15.13. New Jersey will now be one of seven states (and the District of Columbia) that have a minimum wage at or above $15 an hour.
The New Jersey State AFL-CIO and the “Raise the Wage” coalition initiated the campaign to increase the state’s minimum wage in 2013, when the voters of the state authorized a $1 increase and a COLA via a constitutional amendment. The voter referendum, which passed overwhelmingly, was necessary due to former Governor Christie’s veto of previous wage increases.
New Jersey subsequently passed legislation in 2019, gradually increasing the minimum wage to $15. Governor Murphy and the Democratic legislature should be commended for their commitment to the working poor.
However, with New Jersey consistently included in the top 5 highest cost-of-living states in the nation, there is more to be done.
Recently, Governor Murphy indicated he was open to considering legislation further increasing the minimum wage, now that the $15 threshold has been met. The New Jersey State AFL-CIO looks forward to working with the legislature to act on this in 2024.