At $2.13 an hour, New Jersey has the lowest minimum wage for 140,000 workers that rely on tips in the Northeast. And now that the regular minimum wage has been increased to $8.25 an hour, labor advocates are arguing that its time to increase the tipped minimum wage as well.
The tipped minimum wage has not increased since 1991, and New Jersey Policy Perspective, a liberal-leaning New Jersey think tank, argues that it has since lost 45 percent of its value. The $2.13 an hour tipped minimum wage is the federal minimum, but 31 states plus Washington, D.C., have increased it beyond that requirement. New York’s tipped minimum wage is $4.90 an hour; Pennsylvania’s, $2.83 an hour; Connecticut’s, $5.69 an hour; and even West Virginia is $5.80 an hour. Washington and Oregon have the highest tipped minimum wage at $9.32 and $9.10, respectively.
The average age of a tipped-minimum worker is 31, and according to the report, these workers are twice as likely than other workers to live in poor households and not have any type of health insurance.