NJ’s Yearly Minimum Wage Increase


Ava Perera is a head coach at The Little Gym.

By Noah Sandler, Staff Writer

Many Wayne Hills students have part-time jobs and they rely on the money they make at those jobs to support their spending habits and purchase items their parents won’t buy for them. The money that high school students make is not only for their personal spending but to also help out their families with things such as food, gas, and personal necessities.

So it likely comes as a relief to these working students the minimum wage in New Jersey increased on January 1. Every year, the state has a mandatory increase in the minimum wage. For the majority of businesses, that wage increased from $13/hour to $14.13/hour. This $1.13 increase per hour may not seem like a lot, but it all adds up after many weeks and months. Businesses that employ fewer than six employees must raise their minimum wage from $11.90 to $12.93. Even if a worker is not making minimum wage, many employers will give every employee an increase because if the lowest paid are getting a raise, the other workers should get one as a relative increase as well.

All of this work by the state is part of an effort to raise the minimum wage for all employees to 15$/hour. The state’s plan is to increase it to $15 for most employers by 2024 and for seasonal and small employers by 2026. All of these wage increases can be seen on the state’s minimum wage chart. New Jersey is one of 20 states who are making an increase in 2023 and for 6 of those it is a plan to eventually reach $15.

Many high school students make minimum wage at their part-time jobs, so this increase will have a direct positive impact on them.

Senior Michael Obode understands the reasoning behind the increase, “I think it fits because of the inflation and the pricing of everything else raising so it makes sense.”

“I think I deserve a raise because I work really hard and really long shifts,” said senior Erin Durot “and I feel like I deserve to make more than I’m being paid.”

Senior Ava Pereira feels she deserves a raise, “because I’m a hard worker and I help children develop and grow.”

These students are excited about this increase and it is well deserved. Many of the jobs that students work are not easy and require them to be on their feet for many hours and interact with customers.