New Jersey Expected to Raise Minimum Wage to $15.00 by 2024

Author: Michael Cardman, XpertHR Legal Editor

UPDATE - Feb. 4, 2019: New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed A 15 into law.

January 22, 2019

New Jersey is likely to raise its minimum wage to $15.00 within the next six years.

The governor and the state's legislative leaders say they have struck a deal on a bill that would increase the minimum wage from its current level of $8.85 per hour to:

  • $10.00 per hour on July 1, 2019;
  • $11.00 per hour on January 1, 2020;
  • $12.00 per hour on January 1, 2021;
  • $13.00 per hour on January 1, 2022;
  • $14.00 per hour on January 1, 2023; and
  • $15.00 per hour on January 1, 2024.

Legislation does not appear to have been formally introduced yet.

However, a joint press release from the Governor's office offers further details. It states that a $15.00 minimum wage would be delayed until 2026 for seasonal workers and employees at small businesses of five workers or less. By 2028, workers in these groups will receive the minimum wage inclusive of inflation adjustments that take place from 2024 to 2028, bringing their minimum wage equal with other New Jersey workers. For agricultural workers, the base minimum wage would increase to $12.50 per hour by 2024 and could rise to $15.00 per hour by January 1, 2027.

The deal is expected to be signed into law, as both Sweeney and Speaker of the Assembly Craig Coughlin had said they would not introduce a bill unless it could pass and Gov. Phil Murphy would sign it, according to the New York Times.

If a bill is enacted, New Jersey would join California, Massachusetts, New York and several other cities and towns that have, or are on track to have, minimum wages of $15.00 or higher.