New Jersey minimum wage goes up to $10 an hour

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TRENTON -

New Jersey's minimum wage has gone up 13% to $10 an hour as part of the state's five-year plan to a $15 hourly minimum wage.

Gov. Phil Murphy signed the legislation, ratcheting up the state's $8.85 minimum wage earlier this year.

The rate climbs to $10 today.

RELATED: Governor signs $38.7B budget, boosting spending about 3% 

"Contrary to the popular misconception, the typical minimum wage worker is not a teenager working part-time who lives at home," says state Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo. "It's a 36-year-old adult who may have a child or two and who is responsible for more than half their family's income. That is who we are looking out for, those residents who are already working hard simply trying to eke out an income."

The labor commissioner spoke at the one-stop career center in Paterson, alongside Rep. Bill Pascrell, who has sponsored a federal law to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour.

Businesses and Republicans in the Legislature object to the minimum wage increase in New Jersey, saying costs could be passed on to consumers. They say businesses could start feeling the pain after Jan. 1 due to the increase in payroll costs.

But Gov. Murphy and his administration say workers who make more will spend more.

For seasonal and small business employees there is no change in the rate, which will remain at $8.85 until it climbs to $10.30 on Jan. 1.

The minimum wage for tipped workers will climb 50 cents to $2.63 today.

The minimum wage for most employees will climb to $11 an hour by Jan. 1, and increase $1 every Jan. 1 until 2024, when it reaches $15.

Oregon and Washington, D.C. are also implementing minimum wage increases this week.

New Jersey is among seven states gradually increasing the minimum wage to $15 per hour. The other states include California, Massachusetts, New York and Connecticut.

AP wire services helped contribute to this report.

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