What is the New Jersey Minimum Wage?
On January 1, 2015, New Jersey’s minimum wage rose from $8.25 to $8.38 which represents an increase of 1.59. This annual adjustment of 13 cents was approved to counteract the rate of inflation, which was increasing the cost of living in the state as the wage stayed the same.
Why was the New Jersey Minimum Wage increased in 2015?
Pursuant to N.J.A.C. 12:56-3.1 the Department of Labor and Workforce Developments shall raise the New Jeresey minimum hourly wage rate, “based on any percentage increase during the one-year period of August of the prior year through August of the current year of the consumer price index (CPI) for all urban wage earners and clerical workers (CPI-W, U.S. City Average), as released by the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.”
The 2015 New Jersey Minimum Wage increase will directly boost pay for about 5 Percent of New Jersey’s Workers. This wage increase will affect around 176,000 workers who are currently making the minimum wage or slightly more. The brief also states that $55.1 million in new wages will go to families with low-wage workers in 2015, meanwhile $39.9 million of that will go to families earning between $20,000 and $40,000 a year.
The New Jersey minimum wage is still too low to have a significant impact for the 30% of New Jersey households that earned too little to provide basic necessities. In fact, studies have shown that due to the cost of living in New Jersey, New Jersey’s living wage (an amount where an employee would earn enough to provide for all the basic necessities, including housing, transportation, health care, child care, and food) is closer to $15 per hour, at least. While New Jersey’s minimum wage increase is a small step
Is the New Jersey Minimum Wage Higher than the Federal Minimum Wage?
At the federal level, the minimum wage set by the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 ((29 U.S.C. §206(a)(1)), has not been changed since 2009. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour.