NJ’s Wage: A Mystery To All

By existing law, what should New Jersey’s minimum wage be?

Answer: Who the heck knows?!

In 2013, the voters of New Jersey approved the minimum wage referendum to adjust the wage to increases in the cost of living. The language on the ballot included no reference to the consumer price index, yet lawmakers proceeded to create a constitutional amendment that adjusts the wage to the consumer price index.

A definition from the United States Department of Labor elucidates a difference between the cost of living and the consumer price index. Due to the difference in methodologies, there is no constitutional reason to use the consumer price index in place of a cost of living methodology. The voters did not approve of the CPI, plain and simple.

Anyway, even with the consumer price index being used, it is clear that the lawmakers themselves are not even certain as to what the 2015 minimum wage is.

Senate President Steve Sweeney seems to be convinced that the minimum wage rose to $8.37 per hour…

sweeney.error.2

And it appears that the Voice of Working Families in the Garden State was equally confused…

afl.error.2

Under the incorrect use of the CPI methodology, New Jersey’s minimum wage currently stands at $8.38, for those who were wondering.

Off by one penny, yes. But over a year’s time, that’s a $20.80 error.

Look here, legislators. The minimum wage is insanely important in New Jersey, since of course it is so expensive to live here. By using an actual COL methodology, hundreds of thousands of residents will automatically be lifted above the poverty line. So what is the big deal with fixing this error? You would all look like superstars in the end! Get Moving, and get it right!

View my other publications about the minimum wage:

From the Courier Post

And the New Jersey Law Journal

 

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