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A dollar and change. Photo credit: Photo by Kenny Eliason on Unsplash
A dollar and change. Photo credit: Photo by Kenny Eliason on Unsplash

New Jersey raises the minimum wage to $14/hour for most employees

The state’s goal is to raise the minimum wage to $15/hour by 2024.

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At the start of the new year, New Jersey officially raised its statewide minimum wage from $13/hour to $14.13/hour. The increase became effective immediately on Jan. 1, 2023. 

In 2019, Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation to gradually raise the minimum wage to $15/hour by 2024 for most employees. The year before this legislation was signed, the minimum wage was $8.60/hour. Under the law, the minimum wage has increased by $1/hour each year. It can also go up by more if it's warranted because of significant increases in the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

Gov. Murphy remarked that creating a path to $15/hour has been one of his proudest moments. 

“This increase will ensure that hundreds of thousands of hardworking people across our state are paid a wage that allows them to provide for their families and live with greater dignity. To solidify New Jersey as the State of Opportunity, we must continue our mission of building a stronger and fairer economy that works for every family, and that begins with growing our middle class,” he said.

The minimum wage is set by the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) for the coming year. The department uses the rate in the law or a CPI-based calculation to determine the rate, taking whichever is higher. 

For employees who work for small or seasonal employers, minimum wage went up from $11.90/hour to $12.93/hour. These employers were given until 2026 to raise the minimum wage to $15/hour. 

Agricultural workers will see an increase to $12.01/hour and an increase to $15/hour by 2027. 

The cash wage for tipped workers has increased to $5.26/hour. They are able to claim an $8.87 tip credit, up from a credit of $1. The employee’s cash wage plus their tips must equal the state minimum wage, if not, the employer has to pay the difference. 

“The Governor and Legislature had the forethought to account for the possibility of rising costs in their historic minimum wage law, which helps low-wage workers better provide for themselves and their families. Every extra dollar in the paychecks of our lowest wage workers is helpful,” said Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo.

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