New Jersey Voters Raise the Minimum Wage, Tie Future Increases to Inflation

On Tuesday, New Jersey voters approved a ballot question that will increase the state’s minimum wage by $1.00 to $8.25 an hour in January 2014. Voters also approved an amendment to the state constitution that will tie automatic increases in the rate to inflation. Currently, 19 states plus D.C. have minimum wages set above the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. 

New Jersey is the fourth state this year to raise its minimum wage through legislation or ballot. In late September, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill into law that will gradually increase that state’s minimum wage from its current rate of $8 to $10 per hour by January 2016. Lawmakers in both Connecticut and New York voted to raise the minimum wage in their states to $9 per hour – in New York by the end of 2015 and in Connecticut by January 1, 2015.

Of the 1.8 million workers in New Jersey who are paid by the hour, an estimated 50,000 — around 2.8 percent — are paid the minimum wage, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Want to see how many workers in your state are paid the minimum wage? Check out our infographic: Minimum Wage Workers by State, 2012.