The increase of a minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2023 could inject $3.9 billion in the state’s economy through a rise of the consumption power for over 1 million residents, according to a report by the advocacy group New Jersey Policy Perspective.
NJPP’s report, unveiled Tuesday at a statehouse press conference in Trenton, said a higher minimum wage would result in a lower employee turnover, thereby lowering the costs of hiring and training.
A wage increase would also boost productivity and purchasing power for workers, according to 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,” Brandon McKoy, NJPP’s director of government affairs, said in a prepared statement. “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.”
McKoy was flanked at Tuesday’s presser by Ron Rivers, founder and CEO of Love2Brew Inc.; Kristine Waldren, director of corporate communications and government affairs for Earth Friendly Products; and Richard Lawton, executive director of the New Jersey Sustainable Business Council. All three made the case that a minimum wage increase would benefit New Jersey’s economy.
Waldren said her workers are paid $17 an hour, which has led to a lower turnover, high productivity and lower costs of recruitment, interviewing and training.
“I know that opponents say that raising the minimum wage can hurt businesses, but I’m here to speak to our experience with paying high minimum wage” Waldren said. “It’s been very beneficial to our company and it’s helped our company grow.”
Rivers said that increasing the minimum wage yields an “increase to the overall net employment.”
Gov. Phil Murphy, who campaigned on a platform of raising the minimum wage from $8.60 to $15 an hour, said he wants to push for legislation this fall that would phase in the increase over the course of several years.