Governor, Democratic Leaders Reach Agreement on $15 Minimum Wage

In an announcement Thursday afternoon, Gov. Phil Murphy, Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin (D-19) said they have reach an agreement on terms to raise wages for over one-million workers and promote “broad-based economic growth.”

According to their announcement, the base minimum wage for New Jersey workers would increase to $10 per hour on July 1, 2019. The following January 1 (2020), the statewide minimum wage would increase to $11 per hour, and then would increase by $1 per hour every new year until it reaches $15 hour in 2024.

Several categories of workers will reach the $15 per hour wage later. Seasonal workers and employees at small businesses of five workers or less would reach $15 per hour by January 1, 2026.

“No one working a full-time join should ever live in poverty,” Murphy said in a joint written statement with Sweeney and Coughlin. “Putting the minimum wage on a clear and responsible path to $15/hour is good for workers, good for our businesses, and good for our economy.”

“This is a progressive plan to elevate New Jersey’s minimum wage to $15 so that workers have a fair wage that allows them to support themselves and their families,” said Senate President Sweeney. “This plan will put New Jersey in the forefront of the national movement to build a high-wage economy. 

“Since the day I was sworn in as Assembly Speaker, I have pledged to do all I can to make New Jersey more affordable. By increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2024 for the majority of workers we are achieving the goal of lifting people up to improve their quality of life,” said Speaker Coughlin. “We also took into consideration the concerns of our State’s valued small business community. I thank Governor Murphy and Senate President Sweeney for working with me so closely and tirelessly to ensure fairness for future generations of workers.”