Some New Jersey employers raise wages to tackle labor shortage

New Jersey raised the minimum wage to $ 13 an hour on Jan.1 as part of an effort to raise the minimum wage to $ 15 by 2024.

But some employers have beaten the state with their fists, raising wages themselves due to the labor shortage.

“It changes a life every time we have a minimum wage increase,” says Nicole Rodriguez, of New Jersey Policy Perspective. “The increase this year for a full-time minimum wage worker is about $ 2,000. Which is important.”

Rodriguez is the research director of the Progressive Think Tank. She says the lowest paid workers haven’t seen their wages increase enough in 30 years. Governor Phil Murphy and the Democrats in the Legislature spoke in 2019.

“For low-income people who count every penny they have, who often have multiple jobs at the expense of seeing their families and other important life events we have and dealing with the pandemic, many of us they are front line workers, sick and not being able to work is a big deal, ”Rodriguez says.

But in some cases, desperate employers have already voluntarily raised wages above $ 13 an hour. This summer, Sahara Sam’s in West Berlin announced that all positions will be paid $ 15 an hour, although seasonal employers have until 2026 to meet that rate of pay.

“When workers receive these increases, it goes back to local economies. So it puts more money in the pockets of the workers and families who need it most,” Rodriguez said.

Wages for tipped workers at places like eateries and eateries were increased to $ 5.13 per hour, up $ 1 from last year.

“Not only is it good for the local economy, but it’s also good for the economic recovery,” Rodriguez says, adding that it also helps lessen the blow for employers.

Direct care workers in long-term care facilities have seen their minimum wages increase by $ 1, to $ 16 an hour.

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