New Jersey’s minimum wage increases to $8.85 per hour on Jan. 1

The minimum wage rate in New Jersey will increase from $8.60 per hour to $8.85 per hour on January 1, 2019.

The Department of Labor and Workforce Development has requested, and the Office of Administrative Law has agreed to permit, an administrative change to New Jersey Administrative Code 12:56-3.1(a), to reflect the new wage rate effective on January 1, 2019.

N.J.A.C. 12:56-3.1(b) requires the Department to revise the minimum hourly wage rate on an annual basis, on or about September 30, “based on any percentage increase during the one-year period of August of the prior year through August of the current year of the consumer price index (CPI) for all urban earners and clerical workers (CPI-W, U.S. City Average), as released by the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.”

The Department is required to provide notice of the new CPI-adjusted minimum hourly wage rate through a public notice published in the New Jersey Register, and, no later than September 30 of each year, on the Department’s website.

The percentage increase in the cost of living for the one-year period for August 2017 through August 2018 is 2.88 percent. The CPI-W, U.S. City Average in August 2017 was 239.448 and for August 2018 was 246.336, resulting in a change in the index over a one-year period of 6.888, or an increase of 2.88 percent (6.888/239.448×100). Using the current minimum wage of $8.60 as the base for its calculations, the Department determined that a 2.88 percent increase (rounded to the nearest penny) is $0.25, yielding an adjusted state minimum wage rate of $8.85 per hour effective on January 1, 2019.

Pursuant to Article 1, Paragraph 23, of the New Jersey Constitution, and N.J.A.C. 12:56-3.1(b), the state minimum hourly wage rate must be changed from $8.65 to $8.85, requiring administrative changes to N.J.A.C. 12:56-3.1(a) to replace the effective date from January 1, 2018, to January 1, 2019, and the amount of $8.60 to $8.85. (State of New Jersey, Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Division of Wage and Hour Compliance, Public Notice 2019 Minimum Wage, September 28, 2018.)

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