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NJBIA President & CEO Michele N. Siekerka, Esq. issued the following statement regarding today’s press conference by Governor Murphy on increasing New Jersey’s minimum wage to $15 an hour.

“Any responsible pathway to raising the minimum wage should take into consideration the impact on our small business owners, which drive our economy and support our communities.

“Many of our members have already told us any significant increase in the minimum wage will result in a reduction of staff, hours and/or benefits, or an increase in prices or automation.
“A gradual, phased-in increase of a $15 minimum wage will provide our job creators predictability and the ability to keep up with the continuing rising costs of running their business. It’s also important to remember that raising the rate at the entry level, regardless of an employee’s skill level, means resetting the rate for other workers across the board. Concerns about wage compression are real and can create inequitable pay differentials between low-skilled workers and trained or experienced ones.

“NJBIA will continue to advance a discussion that includes job training for higher wages, as well as appropriate exemptions to address youth and training wages, and various industry sectors more adversely impacted by the burden of their increased costs, in addition to a gradual phase-in of a minimum wage increase.”