This year’s NJBIA Business Outlook Survey (BOS) asked member companies about the impact of a proposed $15-an-hour minimum wage.
Seventy percent said it would have an impact, with 34 percent saying they would need to reduce staff, 28 percent saying they would reduce employees’ hours, and 34 percent saying they would raise prices.
Siekerka said it would also accelerate use of self-checkout kiosks and systems that allow customers to place their own orders electronically. While some automation is occurring as a natural technological innovation, she said a $15 minimum wage would accelerate it. (View video here.)
“We don’t want to rush the need for automatization,” Siekerka said during December’s BOS press conference. “We would still like to have good customer service; we would like to see people at the counters of our retail restaurants and our stores.”
Some lawmakers pushed for amending the state constitution to increase the minimum wage because it would not require Christie’s approval, but for now, it looks like the issue will wait until after this year’s gubernatorial election.
NJBIA has led the fight against the $15 minimum wage, arguing that it went too far too fast and would have had a devastating impact on our state’s economic recovery and our small businesses.
NJBIA recognizes the state’s $8.44 per hour minimum wage has not kept up with inflation and should be increased responsibly.
The state, however, must also address the root causes that make it so unaffordable for minimum wage workers to live here, such as New Jersey’s high housing and healthcare costs and exorbitant property taxes.