In Brief

Minimum hourly wage in N.J. to jump to $13 for most workers

By: - December 22, 2021 7:00 am

Demonstrators participate in a protest outside of McDonald’s corporate headquarters on January 15, 2021 as part of a nationwide effort calling for the minimum wage to be raised to $15-per-hour. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Some New Jersey workers will start the new year by taking more money home as the minimum hourly wage increases to $13 starting Jan. 1.

The statewide, $1 increase is mandated under a law signed by Gov. Phil Murphy that will bring the state minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2024 for most employees.

Murphy ran on hiking the minimum wage to $15 during his first campaign in 2017, when it was $8.60. In 2019, Murphy signed a law requiring the incremental annual pay hikes.

The scheduled increases come at a time when inflation is skyrocketing — prices are rising on everything from food to appliances to gas — and as we enter the third year of a pandemic that devastated businesses in the state.

Seasonal and small employers — which have until 2026 to pay $15 an hour — will need to pay a minimum of $11.90 starting in the new year, up from $11.10. Farm workers’ wages will jump to $11.05. Their employers have until 2027 to get to $15.

Long-term care facility staff will also see a pay hike, bringing their hourly minimum wage to $16 an hour.

The minimum rate for tipped workers like bartenders and servers is also going up by $1 to an hourly rate of $5.13.

The federal minimum wage for most employees stands at $7.25 per hour, which hasn’t changed since 2008.

Twenty other states are also raising hourly wages at the start of the new year.


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Sophie Nieto-Munoz
Sophie Nieto-Munoz

Sophie Nieto-Muñoz, a New Jersey native and former Trenton statehouse reporter for, shined a spotlight on the state’s crumbling unemployment system and won several awards for investigative reporting from the New Jersey Press Association. She was a finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists for her report on PetSmart's grooming practices, which was also recognized by the New York Press Club. Sophie speaks Spanish and is proud to connect to the Latinx community through her reporting.