Jersey City boosts its minimum wage to $20 per hour for municipal employees

by Ricky Rillera

| Photo by Dmitry Demidko on Unsplash

JERSEY CITY – A $20 per Living Wage Statute is set for all full-time Jersey City employees, Mayor Steven M. Fulop has announced. The change will impact about 251 municipal employees. It will boost salaries for current and future Jersey City residents and workers from $17 to $20 per hour – $7 more than New Jersey’s current hourly minimum wage. The increase is part of the 2022-2023 fiscal year budget.

A living wage is designed to provide an adequate standard of living and help offset nationwide historic inflation and increased cost of living while retaining employees. It is a locally mandated wage higher than state or federal minimum wage levels.

Steven M. Fulop | PDM File Photo

“In Jersey City, we already set the highest minimum wage standards, and we are taking it a step further to provide our residents and workers with a decent standard of living so that they don’t have to decide between feeding their children dinner or making rent,” said Mayor Fulop. “By introducing a living wage, we are raising the bar, putting upwards pressure on salaries, offsetting historic federal inflation levels and cost of living increases, improving employee retention, and sustaining our local economy.”

The administration said that many people making minimum wage live below the poverty level as current data proves it has been outpaced by the cost of living and often does not provide a person with enough means to live, especially for those with children, parents or others to care for.

The living wage will help ensure all full-time municipal employees receive enough compensation to support their families with food, housing, healthcare, childcare, and other daily necessities to ultimately better their futures.

“The new living wage threshold will boost employee retention and recruitment, and provide workers a new standard of living. It will help alleviate the strain on personal expenses, returning those dollars back into the local economy,” added Business Administrator John Metro.

The Fulop administration continues to take substantial steps to maintain affordability and offer much-needed financial support for the residents and employees who need it most. Some of these initiatives include the Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance, which increases affordable and workforce housing availability.

In 2013, four months into his administration, Jersey City became the first in New Jersey to guarantee sick days, an effort led by Fulop to protect the health of working families. In 2015, he signed a wage theft prevention ordinance into law. A year later, he raised the minimum wage to $15 an hour, which doubled the initial rate. Other municipalities followed, and ultimately, the State adopted it also.

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