NJ Businesses Debate Minimum Wage Hike

Career concept. Businessman wants raise his income.

(DGIwire) – In June 2016, New Jersey lawmakers passed legislation that would raise the state’s minimum wage to $10.10 in the next year and to at least $15 over the next five years, according to a CBS report. If enacted, New Jersey would become the third state on a direct path toward a $15-an-hour minimum wage, the highest in the nation. New York and California have enacted similar measures. There are many different views.

New Jersey Democrats who control the statehouse praised the passage. However, business groups, including the New Jersey Business and Industry Association, argued hiking the wage could have a “ripple effect” on workers who currently earn $15 an hour.

Meanwhile, opponents of the wage hike from small businesses, interviewed by NJ.com, sought to distinguish themselves from such large-scale operations as Walmart. One co-owner of two gas station and convenience stores told the news site his staff payroll would increase from $380,000 to $680,000 and “devastate” his business. He predicted he would have to offset his higher payroll by raising prices, eliminating overtime and reducing staff and hours of operation.

However, New Jersey Policy Perspective, a Trenton think tank, has estimated 975,000 people would benefit from the wage hike. And an organizer with advocacy group 15 Now told NJ.com the minimum wage does not represent an existential threat to small businesses.

“The ongoing debate over the minimum wage in New Jersey could have long-reaching consequences for the way that companies headquartered in the state handle their staffing needs,” says Adam Samples, Regional President, Staffing at Atrium Staffing in New Jersey. “If legislation is passed that adjusts the minimum wage, certain companies may interpret this as an impetus to reevaluate their current staffing. In situations like this, businesses may seek the advice of a staffing agency with a proven track record.”

Atrium is a talent solutions firm focused on providing contingent workforce management services for mid-size and Fortune 500 companies in nearly every industry. Atrium’s expertise includes regional Temporary and Direct Hire Staffing, national Employer of Record Payrolling, national Independent Contractor Engagement and specialty Intern Recruiting Services. With three office locations in the Garden State—Jersey City, Iselin and Little Falls—the company is well-placed to serve the staffing needs of local companies.

“Whether or not the pending legislation is passed, New Jersey companies can benefit from expert advice for all staffing and human resource agency needs,” Samples adds.