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March 7, 2016

The good news for the state’s lowest-paid workers is that New Jersey voters are generally in favor of raising the minimum wage. The bad news, according to a recent poll conducted by Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind project, is that a majority of voters surveyed opposed boosting the minimum wage to $15, the proposed target for a phased-in increase.

According to the survey, almost three-quarters of voters (73 percent) think the hourly minimum wage should be higher than the $8.38 it currently is. With the exception of Republicans who are mixed on the issue, support for the increase runs wide and deep.

But when asked if hourly wages should increase to $15, opinion is more mixed. Forty-six percent say they approve of that wage, but a majority, 52 percent, opposes it.

Those who are the most economically vulnerable are also the most supportive of that wage, including those who are currently retired and unemployed (53 percent), and those who describe themselves as “overqualified” for the kind of work they perform (53 percent).

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