Lost Time, Lost Pay: New Jersey's Minimum Wage Keeps Falling Behind

Submission to the New Jersey Minimum Wage Advisory Commission from
The Raise the Wage Campaign

When New Jersey raised its minimum wage to $6.15 in 2005 and $7.15 in 2006, the state took an important step in the right direction for hundreds of thousands of working families. But, despite this increase, the minimum wage has simply not kept up with the rising cost of living—especially given skyrocketing prices for food and energy. New Jersey depends on its front-line workers to drive the state’s economy and perform important functions for residents, yet they cannot make ends meet on today’s minimum wage.

The New Jersey Minimum Wage Advisory Commission recognized this problem in its December 2007 report on the adequacy of the state minimum wage. Had the Legislature adopted the Commission’s recommendation to raise the minimum wage to $8.25 an hour and establish automatic annual cost-of-living increases, New Jersey’s workers would have received much-needed relief as they struggle to support their families and build a future.

In these pages, the Raise the Wage Campaign describes the situation New Jersey’s working families face and outlines how our proposals will enhance their economic security.

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