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Calculating NJ’s Minimum Wage Hike Impact [AUDIO]

Many business owners in New Jersey are vehemently opposed to this year’s ballot question which asks voters if they’d like to amend the State Constitution to increase the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $8.25 and then adjust it annually based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

Calculator with Money
Flickr User 401k

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) has come up with a way that you can literally calculate the impact of the wage hike.

“Most small businesses in New Jersey operate on very thin margins and they can’t afford to be surprised by higher costs,” says NFIB New Jersey Director Laurie Ehlbeck. “The calculator lets them anticipate the potential increase and start making a contingency plan in the event that it passes in November.”

New Jersey small businesses and voters concerned about Ballot Question #2, a proposed constitutional amendment that will raise the minimum age every year, automatically, forever, can log on to this website and use the calculator to find out how much their costs would increase if it passes.

“Our research foundation estimates that this initiative will destroy as many as 31,000 jobs in New Jersey and most of them will come from the small business sector,” explains Ehlbeck. “Giving everybody a pay raise every year forever has a superficial appeal to a lot of people who don’t associate the good intention with the practical economic consequence.”

Other business groups have joined NFIB in strongly opposing to the ballot question. They say most small businesses already pay more than minimum wage but many are in no position to absorb higher labor costs. They are also concerned that some businesses whose workers earn more will have to raise wages to stay ahead of the minimum wage, creating an inflationary effect all the way up the pay scale.

“It (the calculator) is another way for us to educate small business owners on the impact of what most of them already consider a very bad idea,” says Ehlbeck.

Proponent of the ballot question say hiking the minimum wage and adjusting it every year will boost the economy and help businesses across the board because more people will have more income to spend on goods and services.

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