STATE – A conservative non-profit group launched a commercial campaign this week against a proposed amendment to the New Jersey Constitution that would raise the minimum wage to $8.25 per hour, claiming that it would lead to fewer jobs.
“Altering the New Jersey Constitution to include a minimum wage hike is a dangerous idea for the Garden State,” said Michael Saltsman, research director at Employment Policies Institute. “The economic consensus is clear: Minimum wage hikes mostly harm the people they’re intended to help, and New Jersey is no exception to the rule.”
The EPI released a report this week estimating that between 1,600 and 4,700 jobs would be lost as a result of the minimum wage increase.
However, a report released in May by New Jersey Policy Perspective estimated that 400,000 low-paid workers would benefit from the plan to increase the minimum wage, spurring more than $174 million in economic growth and creating 1,500 full-time jobs.
“Low-wage jobs are stunting New Jersey’s economic recovery at a time when the state needs more consumer spending and growth,” said Gordon MacInnes, president of New Jersey Policy Perspective. “Raising the minimum wage is a smart way to boost consumer spending while delivering much-needed assistance to working families in New Jersey.”
A study by Legal Services of New Jersey found that a family with two kids needs anywhere between $64,000 to $73,371 to get by in the Garden State, which ranks among the highest cost of living states in America. A couple working full-time at the proposed $8.25 per hour minimum wage would earn just $34,320 per year.
The proposed amendment had the support of an overwhelming majority of voters, including a majority of Republicans, in a Rutgers-Eagleton poll released last month. Just 18 percent said they would vote against it.
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