N.J. minimum wage hike expected to benefit 300,000 workers

The increase of 16 cents an hour will directly affect 91,000 New Jersey workers who now earn less than the new $8.60 minimum. More than 200,000 other employees are expected to see slightly bigger paychecks as well. (Seikachujo/Bigstock)

The increase of 16 cents an hour will directly affect 91,000 New Jersey workers who now earn less than the new $8.60 minimum. More than 200,000 other employees are expected to see slightly bigger paychecks as well. (Seikachujo/Bigstock)

When New Jersey’s minimum wage goes up Jan. 1, some workers who make more than that might also get a raise.

The increase of 16 cents an hour will directly affect 91,000 workers who now earn less than the new $8.60 minimum, said Brandon McKoy with New Jersey Policy Perspective. And another 209,000 employees are also likely to make more.

“They currently make between $8.60 and about $8.76 an hour, and they’re going to basically see an increase in their pay as employers adjust the pay scales upward to reflect the new minimum wage,” he said.

That will help low-paid workers make ends meet, McKoy said.

“While labor costs may increase for employers a little bit, you always see an increase in economic productivity. As people are able to afford more, they spend that money pretty immediately and pretty locally,” he said. “So employers are also going to see an increase in profits.”

The minimum wage could be going much higher; Gov.-elect Phil Murphy supports boosting it to $15 over a period of three to four years.

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