NJ Business Owners Urge Lawmakers to Raise the Minimum Wage to $15 An Hour
TRENTON (October 2, 2018) – New Jersey business owners joined New Jersey Policy Perspective at the State House to urge lawmakers to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour for all workers in the state. For business owners, a higher minimum wage results in lower employee turnover, reduced hiring and training costs, increased productivity, and more money in the pockets of consumers who purchase their goods and services.
“As a long-time manufacturer in New Jersey, we know that raising the minimum wage to $15 will help businesses and employees thrive,” said Kelly Vlahakis-Hanks, CEO of Earth Friendly Products. “Paying a living wage has improved our bottom line. We start employees at $17 and provide great benefits while selling our products at very competitive prices. Our turnover rate is extremely low, our productivity is strong, our profits continue to grow and our employees are our greatest brand ambassadors.”
Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour would boost the take home pay of over 1 million New Jerseyans and help grow the state’s lagging economy. While New Jersey’s unemployment rate has finally recovered to pre-recession levels, poverty in the state remains high as workers are not paid enough to meet their basic needs.
“Raising the level of economic security of workers across New Jersey is vital for enhancing every individual’s ability to survive and thrive,” said Ron Rivers, Founder and CEO of Love2Brew, Inc. “By increasing the minimum wage, we raise the floor which gives more people to the ability to reach higher and in different directions than previously imagined.”
New Jersey Policy Perspective estimates that raising the minimum wage to $15 by 2023 will inject $3.9 billion into the state’s economy, giving families more disposable income to spend in their local communities.
“Raising the minimum wage will put additional dollars into the hands of low-income New Jersey residents, the very people most likely to spend those dollars,” said Richard Lawton, Executive Director of the New Jersey Sustainable Business Council. “This increase in consumer spending will help businesses go from surviving to thriving, add jobs, and grow the economy. Raising the minimum wage will create a virtuous cycle: increased consumer demand, fewer working people who must rely on taxpayer subsidies, and a more level playing field among businesses.”
The press conference coincided with a new report by New Jersey Policy Perspective on the economic impacts of raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. The report found that approximately 1,047,000 workers – 26.3 percent of the state’s total workforce – would see a boost in take home pay from a $15 minimum wage. Of those who would benefit from the wage increase, 94 percent are adults 20 years old or older, 64 percent work full time, 57 percent are people of color, 57 percent are women, and 50 percent have attended or graduated from college. The report also found that there is not a single county in New Jersey where a full time worker can make ends meet making less than $15 an hour.
“Raising the minimum wage is critical to growing New Jersey’s economy,” said Brandon McKoy, Director of Government and External Affairs at New Jersey Policy Perspective and author of the report. “A $15 minimum wage will lift working families and small businesses alike, as more New Jerseyans will have money to spend in their local communities. Making sure that all workers are included is both the right and smart things to do, and will ensure economic prosperity spreads to all corners of the state.
The business leaders who joined NJPP at the press conference are members of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage, a national network of business owners, executives, and business organizations who believe a fair minimum wage makes good business sense.
Read the Report Here:
Watch the Press Conference Here: