New Jersey's 1st Legislative District

Senator Michael Testa

Senator Michael Testa

Testa Warns of Consequences of Minimum Wage Hike for Seasonal Workers

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Says Increase in Shore Wages Will Directly Impact Local Property Taxes

Senator Michael L. Testa, Jr. expressed concern about the increase in the state’s minimum wage that went into effect on January 1.

The hourly rate will increase to $11 per hour from the current $10, and seasonal workers and employees at businesses with less than six workers will see their pay bump from $8.35 to $10.30.

Sen. Michael Testa expressed concern about the impact on the Shore economy of the increase in the state’s minimum wage effective Jan. 1. (SenateNJ.com)

“This increase comes at a significant risk,” cautioned Testa (R-01). “Higher business expenses will result in higher prices for consumers, but the news can be even worse for employees. Mandatory hikes to minimum wage have been linked to reduced hours and job opportunities for low-skilled workers. The people who least can afford it will be hurt the most.

“In South Jersey, where the seasonal tourism industry is crucial to the local economy, the impact is likely to be more severe. These businesses were exempt from last year’s increase, but in 2020, they will be hit even harder to make up for it.

“To stay in business, many of these important local operations will have no choice but to cut staff, reduce benefits, and consider investing in job-killing automation. That is the reality.”

Testa noted that many seasonal jobs, such as lifeguards and beach taggers, are paid by local taxpayers.

“The radical jump in salary will place pressure on shore towns to increase taxes,” added Testa.

Next year, minimum wage will jump to $12, and $11.10 for seasonal workers, eventually reaching $15 per hour in 2024.

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