TIPPED MINIMUM WAGE

If New Jersey moves forward with amplifying the EITC, the state also should apply adjustments related to the minimum wage, as research reveals a stronger effect for beneficiaries when the two policies function in tandem.  In 2013, New Jersey’s voters approved raising the minimum wage to $8.25, inclusive of cost-of-living increases.  Many states recently have passed increases well above that level, so room exists to raise further the minimum wage.  Given such recent action on the overall minimum wage, as an obvious next step, the state should focus on the minimum wage for tipped workers, which scrapes the federal floor of $2.13 per hour.  A modification to the tipped minimum wage would ensure that hard work pays for vulnerable segments of the working population, a disproportionate number of whom are women.