Gov. Phil Murphy wants $15 minimum wage passed by year’s end

Cyril Josh Barker | 11/29/2018, 11:11 a.m.
This week, Gov. Phil Murphy urged the Legislature to close the wage gap and pass a bill raising the minimum ...
Gov. Phil Murphy Flickr

This week, Gov. Phil Murphy urged the Legislature to close the wage gap and pass a bill raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour in New Jersey before the end of the year.

“Establishing a livable wage of $15 per hour provides New Jersey’s working families with the opportunity to put food on their tables and keep the lights on in their homes,” Murphy said.

He added that increasing the minimum wage to $15 will empower working families, which in turn will boost productivity and grow New Jersey’s economy. Starting next year, minimum wage will go up by 25 cents to $8.85 per hour.

The State Constitution charges the Department of Labor and Workforce Development with calculating a minimum wage adjustment each fall based on consumer price index data collected over the prior year. The change will become effective on the first day of the new year.

Last year, the wage increased by 16 cents, to $8.60 per hour, providing roughly 300,000 minimum wage workers with a raise.

“Raising the minimum wage is a crucial piece in building the foundation for a robust and fair economy,” said Murphy. “We have talked about this issue and the benefits it will bring to New Jerseyans long enough. The time for the Legislature to act is now.”

New Jersey is one of eight states to adjust their rate automatically based on the cost of living. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour.