TRENTON — Through Sept. 6, certain teenagers in New Jersey are permitted to work up to 50 hours per week.

Gov. Phil Murphy on Thursday signed legislation into law that's meant to help address a shortage of summer workers as COVID-19 metrics improve and shore businesses brace for a rebound from last summer's pandemic-induced downturn.

Minors aged 16 to 18 are typically limited to 40 hours of work per week, but the new law bumps the weekly maximum to 50 hours for this age group through Labor Day. A parent or guardian's permission is required.

“Businesses in shore and tourist communities are having a difficult time finding employees for the busy summer season,” said Sen. Steven Oroho, R-Sussex. “This is a temporary fix to a temporary problem, but the additional 10 hours each week could help both the worker and the business.”

The bill signing received praise from business groups in the Garden State. Michele Siekerka, president and CEO of the New Jersey Business & Industry Association, said the expansion of worker hours for teens gives employers much-needed flexibility when they need it most.

"It will enable them to fill the gaps left by non-returning workers, with plenty of time left on the clock for the summer tourism season," Siekerka said. "At the same time, it will also create greater opportunities for youth workers to earn more money between school years."

Contact reporter Dino Flammia at dino.flammia@townsquaremedia.com.

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