As of 2014, the New Jersey minimum wage is $8.25 per hour, $1 above the federal minimum, according to NJ.com. Voters approved a ballot initiative in November 2013 that changed the state's constitution to raise the state's minimum wage based on inflation in future years. Historically, New Jersey's minimum wage was at or near the federal minimum for decades until 2006.
NJ.com explains the $1 increase that took effect Jan. 1, 2014, impacted 250,000 workers in New Jersey. Opponents of the measure claim the minimum wage increase will cost the state manager-level positions as companies seek more money in their budgets to hire entry-level workers. Proponents argue the increase will stimulate New Jersey's economy with extra consumer spending. NJ.com also reports one advocacy group believes the minimum wage hike would increase earnings for 400,000 other workers who earn less than $9.25 per hour.
The U.S. Department of Labor indicates the minimum wage in New Jersey in 1968 was $1.40 per hour. The rate increased to $2.50 per hour in 1979, and then it matched the federal minimum of $3.35 an hour in 1981. By 1991, New Jersey's minimum wage was $4.25 per hour. New Jersey's hourly wage rate exceeded the federal standard in 2006, at $6.15, and then $7.15 in 2007. New Jersey became the 20th state to have a minimum wage above the federal minimum in 2014, according to NJ.com.