Friday Facts and Figures is a brief digital newsletter focusing on data points from NJPP reports, research, and policy debates in New Jersey and beyond. This is a special edition focusing on the recently introduced proposal to raise New Jersey’s minimum wage.
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On Thursday, Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin introduced a bill to raise New Jersey’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2024—but not for everyone. The proposal carves out farmworkers, seasonal workers, teens, and workers at firms with fewer than ten employees from earning $15 an hour until 2029—an 11 year phase in. [Politico / Katherine Landergan]
The carve outs in this proposal would exempt up to 452,000 New Jersey workers from earning the full minimum wage. This represents more than 40 percent of the state’s low-paid workforce and includes many workers who need a raise the most. NJPP’s Brandon McKoy breaks down the exemptions in the linked Twitter thread. [@Brandon_McKoy / Brandon McKoy]
According to NJPP’s latest report on the minimum wage, 1,047,000 New Jersey workers would see a boost in their take home pay if the minimum wage were increased—without exemptions—to $15 an hour by 2023. The new proposal falls incredibly short of this goal. [NJPP / Brandon McKoy]
Assuming an annual inflation rate of 3 percent per year, a $15 minimum wage in 2029 will only be worth $10.73 in 2018-dollars. For a full-time worker who takes no days off, $15 per hour in 2018 translates to a $31,200 annual salary. By 2029, the yearly salary of a $15 minimum wage worker will only be worth $22,309 in 2018-dollars. [@Brandon_McKoy / Brandon McKoy]
ROI-NJ’s Tom Bergeron asks if New Jersey Democrats really support a $15 minimum wage in a column posted this morning. “This bill gives the Legislature the ability to pretend as if it is concerned about this issue, but it delays any meaningful action,” writes Tom. He also contrasts the proposal with the swift action taken by Amazon, Cooper University Health Care, and RWJBarnabas Health to raise their minimum wages to $15 in 2019. [ROI-NJ / Tom Bergeron]
Urge your legislators to oppose exemptions in the minimum wage. This proposal is being fast-tracked by the Legislature and will have its first hearing in the Assembly Labor Committee on Monday, December 10—so act now and have your voice heard! [Click Here to Email Your Legislators]
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