Phil Murphy

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy speaks at an event in Nutley, Essex County, in October. 

Minimum wage workers in New Jersey will see their hourly rate climb 25 cents this year, but Gov. Phil Murphy said it isn't enough.

Continuing to push for a $15 minimum wage, Murphy released a New Year's Day statement calling for the bump to help struggling families. 

"As we celebrate the start of a new year, New Jersey’s minimum wage workers are getting a 25 cents an hour raise to $8.85 an hour," Murphy said in the statement. "But this raise isn’t worth celebrating. For a full-time worker, that raise will amount to only $500 more across the entire year — $2 a day — not enough to lift them or their family from poverty, and not enough to spur economic growth."

In November, Murphy renewed his call for the $15 minimum wage. Proponents of increasing the minimum wage say it would boost spending in local economies and take pressure off state and federal assistance programs. 

Seasonal businesses, like the many at the Jersey Shore, are wary of the proposal fearing it will hurt them financially or worse, cause them to shut down altogether.

In his statement, Murphy noted he has been working with the Legislature on such a wage hike and said he hopes to sign the legislation early this year.

"When we do, our working families will have a 2019 worth celebrating," Murphy said. 

Contact: 609-272-7251

Twitter @clairelowe

Staff Writer

I began covering South Jersey in 2008 after graduating from Rowan University with a degree in journalism. I joined The Press in 2015. In 2013, I was awarded a NJPA award for feature writing as a reporter for The Current of Hamilton Township.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

PLEASE BE ADVISED: Soon we will no longer integrate with Facebook for story comments. The commenting option is not going away, however, readers will need to register for a FREE site account to continue sharing their thoughts and feedback on stories. If you already have an account (i.e. current subscribers, posting in obituary guestbooks, for submitting community events), you may use that login, otherwise, you will be prompted to create a new account.

Load comments