New Jersey’s statewide minimum wage will increase by $1 to $15.13 per hour for most employees on Jan. 1, 2024 – exceeding the goal set by legislation signed by Governor Murphy in February 2019 to raise the minimum wage to at least $15 per hour by 2024 for most employees.
When Governor Murphy took office in 2018, the state’s minimum wage was $8.60 per hour; he and the Democratic-controlled Legislature immediately identified increasing the minimum wage as a legislative priority.
“When I first came to office, one of my top priorities was to increase the minimum wage for millions of New Jerseyans. One year later, we put pen to paper and officially signed legislation to raise New Jersey’s minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2024,” Murphy said in a statement.
“As we approach this long-awaited benchmark, I am hopeful that New Jersey workers will be able to improve their quality of life and secure a better future for their families in the middle class. Our Administration will continue to prioritize our workers, who are the backbone of our economy,” he added.
Under the law, seasonal and small employers were given until 2026 to reach $15 per hour to lessen the impact on their businesses. The minimum hourly wage for these employees will increase to $13.73/hour on Jan. 1, up from $12.93.
Agricultural workers are guided by a separate minimum wage timetable and were given until 2027 to reach the $15/hour minimum wage. Employees who work on a farm for an hourly or piece-rate wage will see their minimum hourly wage increase to $12.81, up from $12.01. Additionally, long-term care facility direct care staff will see their minimum wage rise by $1, to $18.13/hour.
The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) sets the minimum wage for the coming year using either the rate specified in the law or a calculation based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), whichever is higher. Once the minimum wage reaches $15 per hour in January, the state Constitution specifies that it continue to increase annually based on any increase in the CPI.
Tipped workers cash wage will remain at $5.26/hour, with employers able to claim a $9.87 tip credit, an increase of $1. If the minimum cash wage plus an employee’s tips do not equal at least the state minimum wage, then the employer must pay the employee the difference. For more on the rights and protections of tipped workers, visit: https://www.nj.gov/labor/worker-protections/myworkrights/tippedworkers.shtml