New Jersey's Hourly Wage to Surpass $15, Setting a New Standard in 2024


The Garden State's Minimum Wage Increase Exceeds Governor Murphy's Target, Impacting 350,000 Workers and Elevating Benefit Rates.

TRENTON, NJ – As of January 1, 2024, New Jersey will join the ranks of states with a minimum wage exceeding $15 per hour, reaching $15.13. This increase, surpassing Governor Murphy's 2019 target, will impact approximately 350,000 of the state's 1.9 million hourly workers, with broader indirect benefits expected across various sectors.

Governor Murphy emphasized the importance of this initiative, stating, "Raising the minimum wage has been a top priority of mine since day one." He acknowledged the challenges posed by inflation, underscoring the need for a livable wage for all working in New Jersey.

Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo highlighted the state's commitment to valuing its workforce, noting that while the Department's Workforce efforts aim at ensuring minimum wage jobs are a stepping stone in career paths, this milestone is a proud moment for New Jersey.

The law stipulates staggered timelines for different employers to meet this new wage standard. Seasonal employers and small businesses with up to six employees have until 2026 to comply, with their minimum wage set to increase to $13.73/hour from January 1, 2024. Similarly, agricultural workers have a 2027 deadline, with an imminent increase to $12.81/hour. Furthermore, long-term care facility staff will see their minimum wage rise to $18.13/hour.

Tipped workers will continue to have a cash wage of $5.26/hour. Employers must compensate any shortfall if tips plus the minimum cash wage do not meet the state minimum wage.

The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) bases the annual minimum wage adjustments on either the Consumer Price Index (CPI) or the rate outlined in the law, depending on which is higher. In line with the state constitution, these adjustments will continue annually.

Significant changes were also announced in the maximum benefit rates and taxable wage base for Unemployment Insurance, Temporary Disability Insurance, Family Leave Insurance, and Workers’ Compensation programs. Starting January 1, the maximum weekly benefit for Unemployment Insurance will increase to $854, and for Temporary Disability and Family Leave Insurance claims, it will rise to $1,055, with Workers’ Compensation benefits reaching $1,131 weekly.

These adjustments reflect the 2.9 percent increase in the statewide average weekly wage from 2021 to 2022. The taxable wage base will also see an increase in 2024, with $42,300 being the new threshold for several insurance programs and $161,400 for the Temporary Disability and Family Leave Insurance programs.

For further details on these adjustments, NJDOL directs interested parties to their website, where comprehensive information and rate comparisons are available.

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