The wage hike set for January 1, 2024, not only meets but exceeds the goal set by Governor Murphy in 2019, impacting most New Jersey workers.
In a move heralded as a significant win for workers, New Jersey's minimum wage is set to rise to $15.13 per hour starting January 1, 2024. This increase surpasses the original target of $15 per hour that was established through legislation signed by Governor Phil Murphy back in February 2019.
When Governor Murphy assumed office in 2018, New Jersey's minimum wage stood at a mere $8.60 per hour. Raising this rate was immediately pinpointed as a legislative priority by both the Governor and the Democratic-controlled Legislature.
Governor Murphy said, "When I first came to office, one of my top priorities was to increase the minimum wage for millions of New Jerseyans. One year later, we put pen to paper and officially signed legislation to raise New Jersey’s minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2024.”
Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo added, “This is a proud moment for New Jersey as we prepare to become one of only a handful of states with a minimum wage above $15 an hour."
The legislation provides some flexibility for specific types of employers and workers. Seasonal and small employers will have until 2026 to meet the $15 per hour minimum, with the wage for these workers going up to $13.73/hour on January 1, 2024.
Agricultural workers are on a separate schedule, reaching a $15/hour minimum wage by 2027. For long-term care facility direct care staff, the minimum wage will rise by $1 to $18.13/hour.
Tipped Workers and Future Adjustments
Tipped workers' cash wages will stay at $5.26/hour, while employers can claim a $9.87 tip credit. If tips and the cash wage do not meet the state minimum, the employer is obligated to make up the difference.
Moreover, New Jersey's Constitution mandates that once the minimum wage reaches $15, it will continue to rise annually in accordance with the Consumer Price Index (CPI).
The hike in the minimum wage is a momentous step toward improving the quality of life for countless New Jersey residents. As the New Year approaches, workers in various industries can look forward to a more secure financial future.
For more information on the rights and protections of tipped workers, visit NJ Labor Department’s webpage on tipped workers.
For further details on the state minimum wage, refer to New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development FAQs.