The minimum wage is back in the news in New Jersey with a vengeance. Much to the chagrin of small & independent businesses and many economists, the New Jersey legislature is poised to increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour over the next few years.
New Jersey’s current minimum wage is $8.38. Voters in 2013 approved a $1 hike up to $8.25, along with linking future increases to inflation. The first adjustment due to inflation occurred in 2015, but the minimum wage stayed the same for 2016 because there was no inflation last year.
Last month, Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney (D-Gloucester) and Assembly Speaker Vince Prieto (D-Hudson) announced they’re backing legislation to hike the wage to at least $15 by 2021. Under the Democrats’ bill, the minimum wage would jump initially to $10.10, with subsequent annual increases until it gets over $15.