New Jersey’s minimum wage will stay the same in 2016

The minimum hourly wage in New Jersey will remain unchanged at $8.38 per hour in 2016, according to a public notice issued by the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Division of Wage and Hour Compliance.

Pursuant to New Jersey Administrative Code Section 12:56-3.1(b), the Department is required to determine the state 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 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 Department’s Division of Economic and Demographic Research performed the necessary calculations based on a comparison of the 2014 August CPI-W, U.S. City Average, which was 234.030, to the recently released 2015 August CPI-W of 233.366. This represents a .664 (−0.28%) drop in the CPI-W. Since there is no increase in the CPI, there will not be an adjustment to the New Jersey minimum hourly wage rate on January 1, 2016. Instead, the minimum wage for 2016 will remain at the current rate of $8.38 per hour.

New Jersey voters approved an increase in the state minimum wage in the November 5, 2013, General Election, starting with a $1 increase to $8.25 per hour on January 1, 2014, and providing for future annual increases based on any increases in the cost of living. The Department adopted an administrative change to rulemaking to authorize the increase to $8.38 per hour effective January 1, 2015, based on a 1.59% increase in the CPI-W for the period August 2013 to August 2014. (New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Division of Wage and Hour Compliance, Public Notice, 2016 Minimum Wage, September 21, 2015, http://lwd.dol.state.nj.us/labor/forms_pdfs/lwdhome/MinWage.pdf.)

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