New Jersey’s minimum wage will increase to $8.38 on January 1

The state minimum wage will increase from $8.25 per hour to $8.38 per hour on January 1, 2015, according to the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Division of Wage and Hour Compliance. The Department requested, and the Office of Administrative Law has agreed to permit, an administrative change to the New Jersey Administrative Code authorizing the increase.
New Jersey voters approved Ballot Question Number 2 in the November 5, 2013, General Election, to amend the state constitution to raise the state minimum wage rate to $8.25 per hour on January 1, 2014, and to provide for future, annual increases based on any increases in the cost of living, effective January 1 of each year. The measure also provides that if the federal rate is ever raised above the state rate, the state rate would be raised to match the federal rate.

The constitutional amendment and New Jersey rule provide that, on an annual basis, on or about September 30, the Department of Labor and Workforce Development is to revise the minimum hourly wage rate “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 wage earners and clerical workers (CPI-W, U.S. City Average), as released by the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.”

The percent increase in the CPI-W, U.S. City Average, for the one-year period, August 2013 through August 2014, is 1.59 percent. That is, the CPI-W was 230.359 for August 2013 and 234.030 for August 2014. This change in index over a one-year period equals 3.671 or an increase of 1.59 percent (3.671/230.359×100). Using as a base for the calculation the current New Jersey minimum hourly wage of $8.25 per hour, a 1.59 percent increase, rounded to the nearest penny, is $0.13, yielding an adjusted state minimum hourly wage rate of $8.38, effective January 1, 2015.

Therefore, pursuant to New Jersey Constitution, Article 1, Paragraph 23, and New Jersey Administrative Code 12:56-3.1(b), the state minimum hourly wage rate must be changed from $8.25 per hour to $8.38 per hour effective January 1, 2015, requiring administrative changes to rulemaking to reflect the increase. (State of New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Division of Wage and Hour Compliance, Notice of Administrative Change, N.J.A.C. 12:56-3.1, September 24, 2014, http://lwd.dol.state.nj.us/labor/forms_pdfs/lwdhome/MinWage2015.pdf.)

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