NJBIA President & CEO Michele N. Siekerka, Esq., issued the following statement today with New Jersey’s minimum wage set to increase to $11 per hour for most workers on Jan. 1, 2020, the next step toward the phase-in of a $15 minimum wage by Jan. 1, 2024.

“As New Jersey’s minimum wage progresses, we continue to see what was always anticipated – businesses making necessary adjustments to afford the cost of their labor.

“Of course, employers who can afford to pay a $15 an hour minimum wage or more to their workforce, will do so. Other smaller businesses, with their slimmer profit margins impacted by a higher minimum wage and other costly workplace mandates, will need to raise prices or reduce staff, hours or benefits to accommodate these added expenses.

“Across the country, we are beginning to see some of the unintended consequences of $15 minimum wage increases – whether it’s the stalling of entry-level job growth in Seattle or restaurants adding surcharges to food bills to offset labor ordinances in California. New Jersey has an opportunity to mitigate these and other impacts with corrective legislation.

“NJBIA is supporting bipartisan legislation that provides for the suspension of scheduled minimum wage increases due to an economic downturn, particularly as Standard & Poor’s has reported that New Jersey is one of 15 states at an elevated risk for fiscal distress during the next recession. As California and New York have each enacted economic off-ramps from their incremental, $15 minimum wage policies, it is purely responsible that New Jersey follows this sensible precedent.

“NJBIA also continues to support a proposal for tax credits to employers hiring workers under 18 years old, who are now increasingly at risk of not being hired with a higher pay rate. We are also advocating for legislation establishing a task force to study the impact of minimum wage increases on businesses.

“Expecting smaller businesses to simply continue to incur added expenses without knowing the full ramifications of a $15 minimum wage, particularly during an economic downturn, is not only unfair, but unsustainable.”

See NJBIA’s Fast Facts on the Minimum Wage law here for more information about the law’s provisions.

2 responses to “NJBIA Statement on Jan. 1  Minimum Wage Increase”

  1. Brendon says:

    It’s funny how people fail to use simple economics when it comes to business! And why do Politicians who mostly have no clue what it takes to run a business, make the rules and laws that govern one. #idiots

  2. Dorothy says:

    I own a small business. These increases will kill me long term. Many people out there that would be “qualified” for these types of jobs don’t have the qualifications/skills to be paid those amounts. The expectation for those with some skills will expect much more and then how do we afford employees? You can no longer hire the better qualified.