From my story today on NJ Spotlight:
Tens of thousands of jobs would be lost in New Jersey if the state’s minimum wage increases, according to a study by a small-business coalition.
The claim adds new fuel to the debate over hiking the state’s minimum wage, less than five months before voters determine the fate of a $1 increase and proposed indexing of the state’s minimum to inflation.
The study by the National Independent Business Federation says that New Jersey could lose about 31,000 small-business jobs over the next decade if the referendum question passes. The reason, according to the study, is that the wage hike and indexing would increase business costs and create a level of uncertainty for business owners about their labor expenses.
Supporters of the wage hike, however, say the study is misleading and does not account for the widespread impact that increased wages would have on the economy. The boost in income for low-wage workers will act as a stimulus, they argue, because workers earning the minimum or near the minimum will then spend money they currently do not have, which will create additional revenue for small businesses.
The minimum wage increase will be on the Nov. 5 ballot as a constitutional amendment, along with the election of the governor and the entire state Legislature.
To read the entire story, go here.