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.