New Jersey’s minimum wage will increase by more than $1 next year to $14.13 an hour — a higher-than-anticipated bump due to inflation.
The state has boosted minimum wage rates since 2019, when Gov. Phil Murphy signed a law establishing yearly increases with the ultimate goal of reaching $15 an hour by 2024.
The state's Department of Labor said that although the minimum wage has increased by $1 for the last three years, the laws allowed a higher increase if there’s a rise in the Consumer Price Index, which happened this year. The CPI measures the average change of prices.
“The governor and legislature had the forethought to account for the possibility of rising costs in their historic minimum wage law, which helps low-wage workers better provide for themselves and their families,” said Robert Asaro-Angelo, commissioner of the state labor department, in a statement. “Every extra dollar in the paychecks of our lowest wage workers is helpful.”
The minimum wage was $8.60 before Murphy signed the measure into law. Small businesses have until 2026 to reach the $15 rate. Businesses also have that long to reach it for seasonal workers. The minimum wage for those workers will increase to $12.93 an hour in 2022, up from $11.90.
Agricultural employers have until 2027 to pay their workers $15 an hour. Hourly wages for farm workers will increase to $12.01 in 2022, up from $11.05.
Long-term care workers, who already have a minimum wage of more than $15 an hour, will see a $1.13 increase next year to $17.13.
Workers who earn tips will see their minimum wage increase to $5.26 an hour. All increases will take effect Jan. 1.
Once the minimum wage reaches $15 an hour, it will increase yearly based on any increase in the CPI, under the law.