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Increasing New Jersey’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2021 would directly boost the pay of about 1 in 4 Garden State workers, or 975,000 men and women. The wage increase would help a diverse group of workers who currently aren’t paid enough to make ends meet, improving their chances of getting by – and, often, providing for their families – in high-cost New Jersey.
 This Economic Policy Institute analysis of 2015 Current Population Survey Outgoing Rotation Group microdata looks at characteristics of New Jersey workers earning less than the equivalent of $15 an hour in 2021, or less than $13.16 in 2015 dollars. The estimated workforce is calculated from the CPS respondents who were 16 years old or older, employed, but not self-employed, and for whom either a valid hourly wage is reported or one can be imputed from weekly earnings and average weekly hours. Consequently, this estimate represents the identifiable wage-earning workforce, a subset of total state employment.