Evaluating the Effects of Raising NJ’s Minimum Wage

NJ Spotlight | February 27, 2019 | Podcasts
There is strong support for New Jersey’s minimum-wage increase but also some opposition. NJ Spotlight’s John Reitmeyer discusses all the angles on the ‘Issues Watch’ podcast

Minimum wage
New Jersey’s minimum wage will rise to $10 later this year and there will also be a series of additional increases before it hits $15 by 2024 thanks to legislation that was signed into law earlier this year by Gov. Phil Murphy.

Backed strongly by labor advocates, Murphy, a Democrat, said the minimum-wage increase will help the state’s lowest-paid workers afford the most basic needs in a high-cost state like New Jersey, including food, transportation and housing.

But business-lobbying groups and other opponents questioned whether the wage increase goes too far, too fast given the current minimum hourly rate is $8.85. They’ve also argued the increases could hurt the very group that the higher wages are supposed to help if businesses resort to staff reductions and benefits cuts to help keep their books balanced.

Meanwhile, there are also concerns about how the new minimum-wage law will impact the broader state economy, although Murphy and other Democrats are predicting it will provide an overall boost.

NJ Spotlight Budget and Public Finance Writer John Reitmeyer recently discussed all these issues and more with Jeff Kaszerman, host of the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants’ “Issues Watch” podcast.

Talking Minimum Wage, Part One:

Talking Minimum Wage, Part Two: