02/14/2018 | News release | Distributed by Public on 02/14/2018 14:28
Press Release - Raising the state's minimum wage to $15 an hour will adversely affect New Jersey's manufacturing industry several company owners testified at a legislative manufacturing caucus meeting attended by Assemblyman Anthony M. Bucco and Assemblywoman DeCroce today.
Bucco and DeCroce said the testimony confirms what they have been saying all along - that a sharp increase will result in businesses leaving the state or, at the very least, layoffs and price increases for consumers. Gov. Phil Murphy said raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour is a priority.
'Manufacturing is making a comeback in our state, but it's an uphill climb. The industry faces a lack of skilled workers, high taxes and onerous regulations,' said Bucco (R-Morris). 'A $15 an hour minimum wage increase will make it nearly impossible for manufacturers to compete. They will be the hardest hit and forced to make drastic decisions about their futures and the futures of their employees.'
'This isn't something we should rush into. We need to consider the unintended consequences of such a drastic increase on small businesses,' said DeCroce (R-Morris). 'We need to understand the profound impact of this policy firsthand. We have to be mindful of the balance between wages and the cost of goods and services as we work to keep prices affordable.'
Today's hearing was an opportunity for caucus members to hear from representatives from some of the leading manufacturing firms discuss their particular challenges and needs.
Nearly 10,000 manufacturers operate in New Jersey, from large pharmaceutical companies to small machine shops. They employ nearly 250,000 workers and contribute more than $30.9 billion to New Jersey's GDP. Manufactured goods and products account for nearly 90% of all New Jersey exports.