On January 1, New Jersey’s minimum wage hike of $1.00 takes effect, bringing the hourly rate of low-paid workers to $8.25. The wage increase is the result of a ballot initiative approved by voters in November, which not only raised this year’s rate but also tied it to annual adjustments to keep pace with the cost of living.
In New Jersey, the number of affected workers is estimated at 443,000. According to the Economic Policy Institute, the pay hike will increase GDP by $173,204,000.
New Jersey is one of 11 states that have adopted annual inflation indexing for their minimum wage. The others are Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Montana, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington.
President Barack Obama has been advocating a federal minimum wage of $10.10 per hour, as well as an annual adjustment. Twenty-one states, plus the District of Columbia, now have minimum wage rates above the current federal level of $7.25 per hour.