Assembly Labor Committee
Thursday January 24, 2019
10 AM – Committee Room 4, 1st Floor
State House Annex, Trenton, New Jersey

Greater Atlantic City Chamber statement on A15
Raises, Over Time, Hourly Minimum Wage to $15.00

The Greater Atlantic City Chamber of Commerce, along with many other business advocacy organizations and groups, is deeply concerned about the impact that increasing minimum wage will have on New Jersey businesses. Our major concern is that businesses will be forced to reduce staff, hours and benefits. This proposed increase in the minimum wage has the potential to harm the same people we are trying to help.

Most organizations want to pay their employees a fair wage and many businesses are paying what they can while working to keep the doors open. Public sector assistance for employees engaged in training to improve their skills, while working for minimum wage, should be considered. Legislation addressing tax relief for businesses helping to enhance their employees’ skills should also be considered along with other programs to assist small businesses negatively impacted by a higher minimum wage.

Many jobs in South Jersey are in the service industry. It is important that this is considered in any discussion on minimum wage. More studies needs to be done on exceptions for tipped positions, minimum wage for teenagers, seasonal and farm workers.

The Chamber has been working with others to diversify our economy while seeking higher paying jobs. We are concerned that significant changes to the New Jersey minimum wage will result in an erosion of our existing small business. The best development program starts with a good retention effort.

We support studies on the impact of annual increases to the minimum wage. Job creation should be considered in these studies and business leaders should be engaged in the analysis. The State needs to have the ability to adjust the minimum wage in the future if we see it is harmful to the economy or during a major economic downturn on our state’s economy.

Once a thoughtful evaluation has been completed, a discussion on gradual phased-in increases of minimum wage and appropriate exception can take place.

Best results happen when public and private sector leaders work together on workforce development and job creation issues.

Thank you for your consideration.