The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (“DOL”) has determined that the State minimum wage rate will remain unchanged at $8.38 per hour in 2016.
In November 2013, New Jersey voters approved an amendment to the State Constitution that provides that each year on September 30th, the minimum wage would be increased, effective January 1st of the following year, by the annual increase in the Consumer Price Index (“CPI”) calculated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The CPI is the nation’s leading indicator of inflation at the retail level. From August 2014 to August 2015, the CPI decreased by 0.28%. Accordingly, without an increase in the CPI, the DOL confirmed that the minimum wage rate would remain unchanged at $8.38 per hour.
This is an unusual situation. This is only the second year since 1995 that the 12-month change in the August CPI, year to year, was negative. Employers should be prepared for anticipated increases in the minimum wage in 2017 and future years.