PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Voters said yes to a minimum wage increase in New Jersey.
It will rise by a dollar an hour in January. Minimum wage workers will also get an automatic annual cost-of-living increase.
Some are worried about the effects on small business.
From one press in his parents’ garage, Joe Olivo has helped grow the family printing business to serve 300 corporate clients and employ 48 workers.
Olivo says the business is constantly evolving, and now, so will his payroll thanks to the New Jersey’s newly passed minimum wage increase.
“I’m concerned that I’ll lose business possibly to out-of-state companies because their wage base will be lower and their cost will be lower,” Joe Olivo, Perfect Printing Co-Owner said.
Starting January 1, more than 50,000 New Jersey workers will receive $8.25 an hour, an increase of a dollar an hour and future increases will now be tied to the cost of living.
“This state is not going to be destroyed by minimum wage,” New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney said.
Sweeney rejoiced Wednesday with workers’ rights advocates.
“This is about helping the working poor make a better life for themselves,” Sweeney said.
One of those low wage workers is Tayzia Treadwell.
“Believe it or not, this extra dollar will help,” Treadwell said.
While it good for some workers, others predict raising the minimum wage could cause many New Jersey companies to layoff workers, cut hours or in the case of Perfect Printing, reduce future hiring. Here’s an example of how the minimum wage increase could affect this company. Instead of having six to eight people with hand-held tape dispensers, they went out and bought a machine that only requires one person to do the job.
“The difficulties in making a payroll on a weekly basis should never be underestimated and this only makes that harder to do,” Olivo said.