New Jersey’s statewide minimum wage will increase by $1 to $15.13 per hour for most employees on Jan. 1, 2024, making it one of a small number of states to cross the $15 threshold.
The hourly rate exceeds the goal set by legislation signed into law in February 2019 to raise the minimum wage to at least $15 per hour by 2024 for most employees.
In making the announcement today, Governor Phil Murphy took a rhetorical victory lap. “When I first came to office, one of my top priorities was to increase the minimum wage for millions of New Jerseyans.” At the time, the state’s minimum wage was $8.60 per hour.
“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,” said Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo.
Under the law, seasonal and small employers were given until 2026 to reach $15 per hour to lessen the impact on their businesses. The minimum hourly wage for these employees will increase to $13.73/hour on Jan. 1, up from $12.93.
Agricultural workers are guided by a separate minimum wage timetable and were given until 2027 to reach the $15/hour minimum wage. Employees who work on a farm for an hourly or piece-rate wage will see their minimum hourly wage increase to $12.81, up from $12.01. Additionally, long-term care facility direct care staff will see their minimum wage rise by $1, to $18.13/hour.
The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development sets the minimum wage for the coming year using either the rate specified in the law or a calculation based on the Consumer Price Index, whichever is higher. Once the minimum wage reaches $15 per hour in January, the state Constitution specifies that it continue to increase annually based on any increase in the CPI.
Tipped workers cash wage will remain at $5.26/hour, with employers able to claim a $9.87 tip credit, an increase of $1. For more on the rights and protections of tipped workers, visit: https://www.nj.gov/labor/worker-protections/myworkrights/tippedworkers.shtml