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NJBIA President & CEO Michele Siekerka, Esq., issued the following statement on Monday as the minimum wage increased to $10 per hour, the first step toward the phase-in of a $15 minimum wage by Jan. 1, 2024.  See NJBIA’s Fast Facts on the Minimum Wage law here for more information about the law’s provisions.

worker holding cash

“Since the minimum wage increase became law, NJBIA has been monitoring the impacts of the increase in real time, gathering information on what our members are doing to adjust their business models and relaying that to our policymakers.

“Generally and not surprisingly, we’re seeing many of the same concerns we had noted while advocating for a phased-in and limited increase – that they’ll need to raise costs or cut expenses to accommodate the higher rate. Obviously, many small businesses will be more impacted by this increase to $10 an hour. We expect that once we hit Jan. 1, 2020, when smaller businesses with fewer than six workers are affected and the increase for most businesses goes to $11 an hour, that these impacts will be more widely seen and felt, especially when the increase hits our tourism industry and seasonal workers.

“We thank our policymakers for recognizing the need to be responsive to the new law, in real time, via their consideration of new legislation to mitigate unintended consequences. Most recently, we supported the proposal (S-3483) for tax credits to encourage employers to hire more workers under 18 years old – as these youth workers are at risk of not being hired because of the higher rate.”