Despite calls from New Jersey’s business community to hit the pause button on the planned $1 hike in New Jersey’s minimum wage, Gov. Phil Murphy said the increase  to $12 an hour in January will go as planned. 

I signed (the $15 minimum wage law) for a reason, and that is to get as many people out from under the poverty line as possible,” Murphy said in a Thursday press briefing. 

NJBIA had long been an advocate for an “off-ramp” for the planned $15 minimum wage by 2024 in the event of an economic emergency or natural disaster. With the arrival of coronavirus, NJBIA has been pushing a pause for the rate hike while New Jersey is in a state of emergency. 

NJBIA President and CEO Michele Siekerka told NJ101.5 news this week that the added $1 will have greater impact when multiplying several employees per hour, on top of new costs related to coronavirus – not to mention less revenue coming in due to COVID-19 restrictions. 

“One dollar can be the difference between staying open and shuttering,” Siekerka said. 

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