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Minimum Wage in New Jersey in 2023

Last Updated on:

09 January 2023
Minimum Wage in New Jersey

New Jersey is the fifth smallest state in the United States, with a population of over 9.3 million. The state is famous for its beautiful beaches, preserved nature, and casinos.

New Jersey is an expensive state, although not as expensive as New York. So, to keep up with the expenses of daily or monthly necessities, the minimum wage rate has to be fair for all employees.

New Jersey’s Minimum wage rate is higher than the Federal Minimum Wage of $7.25, which helps the residents stay above the poverty line. However, it differs from occupation to occupation and business to business.

Calculating minimum wage can be challenging for employers when the information is scattered.

Moreover, there is a yearly change in the minimum wage as New Jersey’s Minimum Wage rate increases with inflation.

So, it can be challenging for small and large companies to track their employees' wages. But if all the information is in one place, an employer can easily follow the minimum wage of each employee.

In this article, you will find everything you need about New Jersey's Minimum Wage, exemptions, and qualifications for minimum wage.

What is the Minimum Wage in New Jersey?

In 2023, the Minimum Wage in New Jersey is $14.13 per hour. The state minimum wage is in accordance with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and thus increases the wage yearly depending on the inflation rate.

The decision to increase New Jersey’s state minimum wage started in 2013 when NJ voters endorsed a constitutional amendment. After that, the state minimum wage increased from $7.25 to $8.25 per hour and got disconnected from the Federal Minimum Wage.

The constitutional amendment introduced new minimum wage laws in New Jersey. The state decided to reevaluate the minimum wage yearly based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

The state reevaluates New Jersey’s State Minimum Wage yearly, currently at $14.13 per hour. The state also plans to continue it until the state minimum wage reaches $15.00 in 2024.

So, according to Federal Law or State Law, employers must not pay employees under $14.13/hour as of 2023 unless their occupation or job position falls into the exemption category.

Moreover, employers must give employees easy access to the Wage and Law Abstract poster that will provide information on minimum wage rates, overtime pay rates, exemptions, and penalties under the NJ Labor Laws.

Penalty for Failing to Provide Wage

New Jersey strictly maintains the minimum wage law, penalizing employers if they fail to provide the earned wage to the employee.

Employees can file a legal wage claim to the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (DOL). Because according to DOL, violation of minimum wage laws, if proven guilty, will result in a penalty of $100 to $1000 fine.

Moreover, employers may also receive administrative penalties up to $500 or 10% to 25% more than the due wage of the employee.

However, under state or federal law, employers also have the option to underpay employees whose job position falls in the "specially exempt from minimum wage" category.

New Jersey’s Weekly Minimum Wage

If an employee works 40 hours a week, they should get the following:

$14.13 x 40 Hours= $565.20.

So, New Jersey’s Weekly Minimum Wage is $565.20.

Yearly Wage

If an employee receives $565.20 for 40 hours of work per week, then in a month, their wage would be $2,260.

So, their yearly wage is $29,390.40, excluding any bonus.

New Jersey’s Overtime Minimum Wage

New Jersey’s Overtime Minimum Wage is 1.5 times the standard state minimum wage. So, if employees exceed 40 hours of work a week, they must get overtime pay from their employer.

For every extra hour of overtime, an employee will get $21.20, according to New Jersey Overtime Wage. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) guarantees fair overtime pay to New Jersey employees who qualify for it.

Moreover, if an employee is entitled to overtime pay from the employer, they can easily file a complaint on unpaid overtime claim to the New Jersey Department of Labor.

However, employees will not receive overtime pay on weekends or holidays.

How is New Jersey’s Minimum Wage Different from the Federal Minimum Wage?

In 2013, New Jersey's Minimum Wage aligned with the Federal Minimum Wage of $7.25. But, after the amendment and the decision to increase the state's minimum wage, the alignment parted.

In 2023, the state's minimum wage is now $14.13 per hour for almost all employees, a $6.88 rise over the Federal Minimum wage. The difference will gradually increase in the following years as well.

Who Qualifies for Minimum Wage?

Every employee except the exempt occupations will get paid the Higher State Minimum Wage. Exempt work can include trainees, student workers, and tipped workers.

Minimum Wage Exemptions

New Jersey state exempts full-time students, farmers, outside salespersons, part-time employees, and minors from earning a minimum wage of $14.13 per hour in 2023.

However, according to FLSA, exempt employees are eligible for special minimum wage rates under the Federal and New Jersey Wage Law. They will get the Federal Minimum Wage without a special minimum wage rate.

The following occupations are eligible for a special minimum wage rate:

  • Small companies or seasonal employers can pay their employees a minimum wage of $12.70.
  • Employers with trainees under 20 can pay them $4.25/hour during their 90-day work period.
  • Student workers or employees will get 85% of the standard minimum wage in New Jersey for working 20 hours (maximum hours) a week. So, they will get $12.01 for an hour of work.
  • Agricultural or farm workers over 18 years of age must get $11.70 per hour, even working at piece rates. 
  • Tipped employees under New Jersey's special minimum wage law will earn a lower minimum wage of $5.27 per hour in 2023. It is only probable if the employee makes $13.00 per hour, including tips.

Tipped employees can be bartenders, estheticians, servers, hosts, and spa employees, as New Jersey doesn't specify them by the minimum amount of wage.

However, employers cannot and must not count any physical gifts, merchandise, or tickets as an inclusion in the per-hour wage.

Historical Change of Minimum Wage in New Jersey

In February 2019, Governor Murphy signed legislation to increase New Jersey's minimum wage yearly until it reaches the $15 border in 2024.

However, even before that, in 2013, the state amended the Labor Law to link it with the CPI that reflects each year. In 2023, the inflation rate caused an extra 13 cents to increase in addition to the overall minimum wage raise of $1.00 resulting in the current minimum wage which is $14.13 per hour.

Effective Date

Change in Minimum Wage

January 1, 2023

$14.13

January 1, 2022

$13.00

January 1, 2021

$12.00

January 1, 2020

$11.00

January 1, 2019

$10.00

January 1, 2018

$8.60

January 1, 2017

$8.44

January 1, 2016

$8.38

January 1, 2015

$8.38

January 1, 2014

$8.25

January 1, 2013

$8.25

January 1, 2012

$7.25

January 1, 2011

$7.25

FAQ

1. What is the federal minimum tipped wage compared to New Jersey?

According to Federal Law, a tipped employee will earn $2.13 per hour, and they will cover the rest through tips. Compared to it, New Jersey gives $5.27 per hour to tipped employees, which is a good raise.

2. Are There Possibilities for an Increase in New Jersey’s Minimum Wage in 2024?

The state minimum wage of New Jersey will increase by $1.00 until it reaches $15.00. So, in 2024, employees will see an increase in their minimum wage rate.

3. Is New Jersey’s yearly minimum wage enough to live in the state?

New Jersey’s yearly minimum wage can be up to $27,040. New Jersey is an expensive state to live in. So, if one wants health care, housing, transportation, food, and other necessities, one will need approximately $56,000 each year.

4. Can minors work in New Jersey state?

New Jersey states allow minors under 16 and 17 to work after school. There are limitations to working hours and minimum wage rates for minors.

5. What are the limitations for minors working in New Jersey?

The state requires minors under 16 to not work over 3 hours daily on school sessions. So, only 18 hours per week of work. However, on off-school sessions, one can work for 8 hours daily and contribute to working 40 hours a week. Minors of 16 and 17 years can work 8 hours daily and 40 hours per week. They can also work six days a week and 7 hours daily. There is no mention of school sessions for 16 and 17-year-old minors by the New Jersey Child Labor Law.


Josh Evan

Written by:

Josh Evan

Josh Evan is the professional career counselor and career development writer at When Work Works. He loves to see people from this field succeed through initiating the right thing in the right way. He never tells; he shows the way. We appointed John not because of his impressive CV. It was his counseling charisma which stood out of everything. He can implant idea, confidence and productive thoughts into mind almost effortlessly. His pen and mouth both speak for the greater good.


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